July 2012 ESPCO Newsletter


My good friends at Sunnovations made BIG news last month with the announcement of their product / system receiving SRCC OG300 certification. Those of us who are familiar with the process know just how important this is and how much effort it took over several years to achieve it!

The following is from Sunnovations’ press release:

Solar thermal technology innovator Sunnovations Inc. has been awarded the industry-standard OG300 certification by the Solar Rating and Certification Corporation on 41 unique system configurations for residential solar water heating. In doing so, Sunnovations has achieved several industry “firsts”, including:

  • The only “self-pumped” systems certified OG300 by the SRCC.
  • The only closed-loop glycol systems certified by the SRCC to use PEX for the solar loop piping.
  • The only systems with passive overheat protection.

These technical distinctions translate into a number of important homeowner benefits that are unique to Sunnovations:

1.    “Self-pumped” means that the system will work even when there is a power outage or in off-grid applications. Sunnovations’ systems are the only ones on the market that provide system freeze protection without the need for electrical pumps and controllers.

2.    “Use of PEX” means that systems can be installed more quickly and cost-effectively than any other comparable solar hot water system.

3.    “Passive overheat protection” means that the systems will not experience the chronic overheating that typical closed-loop glycol systems suffer from. This further means that the system does not require costly periodic maintenance that other systems require.

“We believe our systems represent the lowest cost per BTU delivered of any comparable residential solar water heating system in the US” stated Sunnovations Chief Executive Officer Matt Carlson, “Additionally, we have among the broadest variety of system configurations available, providing a fit for most home types and needs.”

The SRCC’s rigorous system certification process is the industry standard in the US, and utilized performance and durability data from independent testing conducted by industry leader TÜV Rheinland in Tempe, AZ. The certifications qualify Sunnovations’ systems for many state and utility solar hot water rebate programs, as well as the generation of renewable energy credits in multiple jurisdictions including Maryland and the District of Columbia.

Charles Segerman, CEO of Clean Currents Thermal in Rockville, MD, said: “Our experience with the Sunnovations system has been as advertised: simple, single day installation at an affordable cost to the homeowner. The renewable energy credits that are enabled by these certifications will help our Maryland and DC customers offset the installed cost of their solar hot water system and reduce their carbon footprint.”

About Sunnovations

Sunnovations’ geyser-pump design removes the need for all electro-mechanical components found in typical solar water heating systems, providing for affordable, simplified and standardized systems while at the same time maintaining performance and freeze protection. The company’s system is available exclusively through leading renewable energy installers.

Interested homeowners can determine their potential cost savings and carbon footprint reduction from a solar hot water system by going to http://www.sunnovations.com/forms/calculator. Qualified professional installers can learn more about Sunnovations’ system and becoming an Installer Partner at http://www.sunnovations.com/content/for-installers.

As you may remember, I have a Sunnovations thermal solar system on my home…you can see it here.

Also, go back to the October 2011 newsletter, (see it at this address https://espcotraining.com/2011/october-2011-espco-newsletter/ ), and read about my Sunnovations systems. If you have been contemplating getting into thermal solar and didn’t know what product to choose, where to get training and how to take advantage of state and federal tax incentives then I suggest reading up on Sunnovations…I’m a believer!


I had the pleasure of meeting Ron and Nathan Shafer of Shafer Heating & Cooling LLC in Hillsboro, OH this past month. I had classes scheduled in both Cincinnati and Columbus, OH and I took a side trip to Hillsboro to meet the Shafer’s at Nathan’s home to assist with a mini split system.

Hillsboro is in Highland County with a population of about 6,600 residents. Hillsboro has a total area of 5.2 square miles and population density of 1,269 per square mile…compared to Cincinnati that has an area of about 80 square miles and a population density of 3,879 per square mile, Hillsboro is the definition of rural!

As I drove closer to Hillsboro I felt like I stepped back in time…I passed a real ‘Mail Pouch Tobacco’ barn and passed local Amish men piloting horse drawn carriages…it is absolutely beautiful!

Now, you may be thinking that I’m going to tell you a story about a small town, family owned and operated heating and cooling contractor who services their ‘Mayberry’ like community but that would only be part of the story. The Shafer’s are the market leaders in Southwestern Ohio…in fact; they are the market makers in my opinion.

Shafer Heating & Cooling LLC are the pioneers of geothermal heating and cooling in their market. When their competitors were happy to do the ‘same old, same old’, Ron and his son Nathan have been increasing their company’s sales and profits by promoting geothermal systems to their neighbors, business associates and friends…all of which, are customers of the Shafer’s.

In a down economy, (I’m being polite), in an area of relative low income and small population, the Shafer’s are growing…yes, growing…and a big reason why is geothermal!

Nathan is third generation Shafer involved in the business. Ron started the company back in 1986 with his Dad and the fourth generation; Nathan’s wife is expecting their first child, a son, will insure the business will flourish for many years to come.

The business’s success was no mistake…Ron knew he had to set himself apart from his competition and ‘going green’ was the way to do it. Ron admitted to me that some of his competitors thought he was ‘nuts’ when he started promoting geothermal heating and cooling. Some years gone by, now he sees others following his lead.

Now, you would think that geothermal in rural Ohio where there is lots of land, farms with ponds and / or wells for agricultural and animal needs, is a no brainer…but it wasn’t always the case. Ron had to pioneer the concept to the community, overcoming concerns, none the least of which was cost.

Federal and state incentives in Ohio bring the cost of geothermal within the range of less efficient, shorter lived ‘conventional’ equipment and systems and in recent years where the economy has reached unprecedented lows…especially in rural areas…the Shafer’s are growing and look to add to their fleet of five trucks.

Check out Ron and Nathan installing a horizontal slinky ground heat exchanger, a pond geothermal project and vertical borehole installations at their website.

The Shafer’s are an example of a hardworking, smart, entrepreneurial family that thinks ‘outside the box’ and in doing so serves their community well with innovative, cost saving, long lasting geothermal services.

…and I just love Nathan’s dog…a ‘blue heeler Australian cattle dog’ who is just coolest dog in Ohio!


I had the pleasure of conducting an ‘Introduction to Geothermal Heating & Cooling’ class at the Keystone University in Gilbertsville, PA this past week. I have posted pictures of the incredible classroom Bob DellaSala and his crew at Keystone Sales created and named Keystone University. You can see the pictures here.

This is a ‘state of the art’ facility with working hydronic heating systems including Buderus boilers and a Zurn radiant floor heating system.

The room is cooled by a Small Duct High Velocity (SDHV) cooling system from Comfort-Aire. The SDHV system, like the radiant manifold, is visible behind clear Plexiglas so students can observe these unique systems at work.

Bob and I go way back but this was the first time I visited with Bob at his beautiful facility in Gilbertsville. Bob took an existing manufacturer’s representative agency and brought it into the 21st century…he stocks more PEX tubing then I have ever seen in one place…you need high quality, competitively priced Zurn PEX tubing for your plumbing and / or heating project…Bob’s got what you need today!

Check out the picture of the classroom that shows the ‘wall of fame’ with a plaque dedicated to each manufacturer that Keystone represents…it is a relative ‘who’s who’ in the HVAC and plumbing industry.

Check out Keystone Sales’ website.


Keep checking the ‘Training Events’ tab on my website for updates on a class coming to a town near you. The following are some recent additions:

SUBJECT: Mini Split Air Conditioning & Heating
DATE: Monday, July 16, 2012
CLASS SPONSORS: Comfort-Aire / Heat Controller & FW Webb
LOCATION: Heritage Energy
625 Sawkill Rd.
Kingston, NY 12401
CONTACT: Heritage employees only

SUBJECT: Mini Split Air Conditioning & Heating
DATE: Wednesday, July 18, 2012
CLASS SPONSORS: Comfort-Aire / Heat Controller & FW Webb
62 Griswold St
Binghamton, NY 13904
CONTACT: 607-724-3170

SUBJECT: Mini Split Air Conditioning & Heating
DATE: Tuesday, July 24, 2012
CLASS SPONSORS: Comfort-Aire / Heat Controller & FW Webb
1173 Conway Rd.
Madison, NH 03849
CONTACT: 603-367-8852

See you all soon!