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Monday, February 16, 2009

WaterFurnace Renewable Energy Is Poised to Contribute to Economic Recovery and Long-Term Energy Goals

WaterFurnace Renewable Energy Is Poised to Contribute to Economic Recovery and Long-Term Energy Goals
Company Proposes Plan to Create Jobs and Save Energy


FORT WAYNE, IN--Feb 16, 2009 -- As President Barack Obama prepares to sign the federal Economic Stimulus Package, WaterFurnace Renewable Energy, Inc. (Toronto:WFI.TO) is poised to contribute to the nation's economic recovery with a plan that will create jobs and save energy.

The stimulus package is intended to create and save 3.6 million jobs and jumpstart the economy with economic recovery tax cuts and targeted investments. In addition to putting money back in the pockets of consumers and businesses, the package also includes provisions that will help achieve long-term goals, such as improving energy efficiency in both the public and private sectors.

Among those provisions, the plan calls for a disbursement of $6.9 billion to state and local governments for energy efficiency upgrades and the reduction of carbon emissions. "This could amount to as much as $100 million in the state of Indiana," said Bruce Ritchey, CEO of Indiana-based WaterFurnace, a leading manufacturer of residential, commercial, industrial and institutional geothermal and water source heat pumps.


"By investing a portion of this $100 million in rebates or low interest loans to homeowners who replace their old fossil fuel or straight electric furnaces with geothermal heat pumps, the country would definitely make progress toward the goals of the stimulus package," Ritchey said. "Indiana and other states in the country that have invested in similar programs were able to create hundreds of 'green collar jobs' while significantly increasing energy efficiency and reducing carbon emissions."

According to Ritchey, a $2,000 rebate on the purchase of a geothermal heat pump -- or the availability of low interest loans -- could generate 200 heat pump sales every month in Indiana, or 2,400 unit sales at the end of the first year. "At the same time, we can create one new job for every 18 heat pump installations. By the end of the first year that means we will have created, potentially, 133 new green collar jobs (2,400 units divided by 18 installations per job). At $2,000 per unit, the total cost of a job creation/energy efficiency rebate program in the state of Indiana would be $4.8 million over the course of a year."
Every geothermal heat pump requires 24 hours of manufacturing labor and 32 hours of installation labor, according to Ritchey. Small businesses involved in the installation include heating and air conditioning contractors, electricians, plumbers, excavators and drilling machine operators. Ritchey says these businesses have the capacity and technical skills to begin installing green geothermal technology in more homes immediately.
In addition to creating jobs, the rebate program and the ensuing installation of geothermal heat pumps would cut an average four metric tons of carbon emissions per year per unit, due to the high energy efficiency of geothermal heat pump technology. "If you multiply those reductions by the average unit life of 24.4 years, that means 97.6 metric tons of emissions could be eliminated over the lifetime of each unit, and 234,240 tons over the lifetime of the 2,400 units sold through the rebate program," said Ritchey.
Looking beyond Indiana to a national rebate program, Ritchey added, "Every state should take at least five percent of the funding available through the energy efficiency portion of the stimulus package and invest it in a geothermal incentive. I can't think of a faster, more cost effective, greener way to put people back to work, save fossil fuel, reduce carbon emissions and save homeowners thousands of dollars per year for the next 24 years. It's the stimulus that keeps on stimulating."
The backdrop for Ritchey's position on use of the stimulus package funding is a U.S. heating and air conditioning industry that has been hit hard by the recession. "The collapse of the residential new construction market and the lack of consumer financing have slammed the industry over the past two years," he said. "Heating system sales were down to levels not seen since 1970."
Ritchey noted that all geothermal heat pumps are built by WaterFurnace and a few other manufacturers in the United States at domestic plants in Indiana, Ohio, Oklahoma, Minnesota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Texas, Florida and New York. Geothermal systems are operating and saving energy in all 50 states and are being exported around the globe.
WaterFurnace Renewable Energy, Inc.
WaterFurnace Renewable Energy, Inc. is a leading manufacturer of residential, commercial, industrial and institutional geothermal and water source heat pumps. Products from WaterFurnace include energy-efficient and environmentally friendly geothermal comfort systems, indoor air quality products and pool heaters. WaterFurnace (Toronto:WFI.TO - News) was founded in 1983. The company is headquartered in Fort Wayne, Ind.
For additional information, please visit www.waterfurnace.com.

Contact: Editorial Contact: Katie Stafford Godfrey 717-393-3831, ext. 159 kstafford@godfrey.com WaterFurnace Renewable Energy, Inc. 9000 Conservation Way Fort Wayne, IN 46809 260-478-5667 http://www.waterfurnace.com




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