Pierce-Arrow building being re-purposed with area’s largest geothermal system

Article and Images Originally Published on WBFO By Mike Desmond – Aug 2, 2018 https://news.wbfo.org/post/pierce-arrow-building-being-re-purposed-areas-largest-geothermal-system

The Pierce-Arrow complex in North Buffalo is a familiar site to area residents, a symbol of a luxury car company that went away in the Great Depression. Now, remnants of the plant are being re-purposed by developers for housing and the Elmwood Avenue landmark is getting what may be the area’s largest geothermal energy system.

Travelers who passed the old office building in recent weeks saw many indications of the construction project – concrete debris, orange netting, workers wearing hard hats, etc. – but they probably weren’t sure about some different-looking equipment brought in to drill wells – 50 of them – to be used by the geothermal heating system.

“This building will have 50 wells that are all 350 feet deep, and all those wells are combined inside the building to one big heat exchanger,” said Buffalo Geothermal owner Todd Schmigel, “and from there heat pumps are installed inside the building and those heat pumps generate the heat or the cool to condition the various spaces.”

Schmigel said it may be the largest ever geothermal system in this area. The system is somewhat more expensive to install, but a lot cheaper to operate.

“It’s green energy. It’s free energy. Why wouldn’t you take advantage of something that’s beneath your feet to heat and cool a building? It’s absolutely free energy,” Schmigel said. “Once the system is installed, the payback period is a very short period of time and for the life of the system, your reduced energy costs are up to 70 percent.”

The geothermal system will cost about $1 million and will heat and cool the more than $34 million conversion into 107 apartment units, a restaurant and some office space. The system is going in, as another contractor digs up the site for a brownfield cleanup. Other work to keep heating and cooling costs down includes the installation of insulation and energy-efficient windows.

“We can’t do all our steps until somebody else does theirs,” said Schmigel. “We can’t do the inside piping until the walls are built. We can’t mount our heat pumps until the next step happens. So we’ll be here for the duration of the project, which is about a year.”


To visit the original article: https://news.wbfo.org/post/pierce-arrow-building-being-re-purposed-areas-largest-geothermal-system

Geothermal Tax Credit Instructions

The 30% Geothermal Federal Tax Credit is back, which can save you thousands on installing a system and makes Geothermal more affordable than ever.  If you are replacing a conventional heating and cooling system, be sure to get a quote for Geothermal.

We can not offer tax advice to customers, but we are glad to share what we know. Please consult with a tax professional to understand your individual benefits.*

Tax Credit Amounts

  • From January 1, 2017-December 31, 2019 – 30%
  • From January 1, 2020-December 31, 2020 – 26%
  • From January 1, 2021-December 31, 2021 – 22%


Tax Credit Highlights

  • There is no maximum credit. You get the true percentage based on the year you install the Geothermal HVAC system.  It is a direct reduction of your taxes. (see example below)
  • Systems must be placed in service on or before December 31, 2021
  • The geothermal heat pump must meet federal Energy Star criteria. All geothermal systems that we install meet this criteria
  • The tax credit can be taken on any home served by the geothermal system
  • Can be combined with energy efficiency upgrade tax credits
  • Can be carried forward if you don’t have enough tax liability to use the entire credit in one year
  • The tax credit can be used to offset both regular income taxes and alternative minimum taxes
  • A taxpayer will not receive a tax refund for any amount that exceeds the taxpayer’s tax liability for the year


Tax Credit Examples*

House A:
I make $60,000 a year
I owe $15,000 in taxes to Federal Government
I installed Geothermal! It cost $30,000 (before rebates)(financing available)
30% of $30,000 is $9,000
I can now subtract the $9,000 credit from the $15,000 and my new tax bill is only $6000!
(If the tax credit exceeds the income tax liability, the remaining balance can be carried forward into future years.)

House B:
I make $30,000 a year
I owe $7,500 in taxes to Federal Government
I installed Geothermal! It cost $30,000 (before rebates)(financing available)
30% of $30,000 is $9,000
I can now subtract the $9,000 credit from the $7,500 and my new tax bill is covered with $1,500 to carry in next year
(If the tax credit exceeds the income tax liability, the remaining balance can be carried forward into future years.)


The the tax credits are administered by the IRS. Please contact the IRS with your question:

*Disclaimer: The tax credit information contained within this website is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to substitute for expert advice from a professional tax/financial planner or the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

11 Energy Saving Tips

Learn about our top 11 Energy Saving Tips:

  1. Replace your current heating system to Geothermal if older than 15 years 
  2. Seal air leaks and properly insulate to save up to 20% on heating and cooling bills.
  3. Install a programmable thermostat to save up to 10% on cooling and heating costs.
  4. Clean or change filters regularly. A dirty furnace or A/C filter will slow down air flow and make the system work harder to keep you warm or cool.
  5. Use your window shades. Close blinds on the sunny side in summer to keep out the hot sun, and open them in winter to bring in warm rays.
  6. Turn off all lights, appliances and electronics not in use. A power strip can help turn off multiple items at once.
  7. Change to new light bulbs. Reduce energy as much as 80% with today’s increasing number of energy-efficient halogen incandescent, CFLs and LEDs.
  8. Look for the Energy Star label, the government’s symbol of energy efficiency, on a wide range of consumer products to save up to 30% on related electricity bills.
  9. Use low-flow faucets and shower heads to save on water bills.
  10. Install a heat pump water heaters that can cut water heating costs by an average of 50% over standard electric water heaters.
  11. Reduce water heater temperature to 130° F to save energy and money on heating water.

More information about Energy Saving Ideas can be found at the U.S. Department of Energy: Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy Website

Geothermal Heat Pump information is also available.

Video of Geothermal Heat Pumps might help you out too!

Governor Cuomo Announces New Energy Target

From Original Post:

New Energy Efficiency 2025 Target is Equivalent to Energy Used by 1.8 Million Homes

Energy Efficiency Strategies Will Deliver Nearly One Third of State’s 2030 Greenhouse Gas Reduction Goal

$36.5 Million in Investments Will Prepare up to 19,500 New Yorkers for New Jobs

New Strategies Will Increase Annual Electricity Savings to Over 3% by 2025 Positioning New York as a National Leader in Energy Efficiency

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced an ambitious acceleration of energy efficiency in New York, including a comprehensive plan to achieve a new target for significant greenhouse gas emission reductions, decrease consumer energy costs and create job opportunities.  Meeting the new energy efficiency target will deliver nearly one third of the greenhouse gas emissions reductions needed to meet New York’s climate goal of 40 percent reduction by 2030. This announcement is part of the Governor’s State of the State proposal to develop a milestone Earth Day energy efficiency target and comprehensive strategy.

“Energy efficiency is the most cost-effective way for New Yorkers to lower utility bills, curb harmful emissions and battle climate change,” Governor Cuomo said. “As the federal government abdicates its responsibility to safeguard our environment, we must continue our bold action to reduce emissions and protect all New Yorkers, today and in the future, from the devastating effects of climate change.”

“We’re aggressively working to make New York more energy efficient with unprecedented goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and address climate change,” Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul said. “The strategies to make our state cleaner and greener will result in high-tech jobs for New Yorkers with investments in workforce development. The focus on energy efficiency will not only enhance the environment and create new jobs, it will also lower energy costs for residents and boost the energy economy.”

Read More

Questions? Call us 716-684-8848 or [email protected]

Buffalo Geothermal Wins with Siano Building NY-GEO

Buffalo Geothermal Wins 1st Runner Up for TOP JOB at the 2018 NY-GEO Conference for The Siano Building


April 18 – 19, 2018 Buffalo Geothermal Heating LLC, attended the New York Geothermal Energy Organization Conference in Albany, NY.  Owner, Jens Ponikau, presented another year on a Top Job submission.  This year we submitted The Siano Building at 363 Grant Street in Buffalo and won 1st runner up. See a video of what we built here.  Congrats to the winner, Larry Lessard of Achieve Renewable Energy LLC for installing a 21st Century Geothermal system in a Historic Mill Building in Massachussetts!


WE WON 1st Runner Up!  

When Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced the grand opening of The Siano Building, located at 363 Grant Street in Buffalo, he emphasized on how the $2.3 million Better Buffalo Fund project had transformed a vacant lot into a 12,600 square-foot, mixed-use building consisting of retail space and 11 apartments utilizing geothermal heating and cooling.
Voted best urban fill-in 2017 by Buffalo Rising Magazine, the building focuses on neighborhood revitalization and sustainability. 
Architect John Wingfelder designed the exterior to include projecting bay windows and fixed store canopies to reflect the uniqueness of this building.  More photos of the Siano Building can be seen on his website
The entire building is exclusively conditioned by geothermal heating and cooling, with each apartment being it having its own heat pump for zone control. In addition, the entire domestic hot water is generated via geothermal, allowing a smaller loop field in this cooling dominated building and reduced upfront costs. A central variable pressure ECM pump adopts to all load scenarios with ultimate efficiency. The entire ground loop is installed under the building, allowing for space saving installation and setting a precedence and example for the application of geothermal systems in dense urban settings.
City Council Member David Rivera said, “Grant Street is the embodiment of diversity, culture and growth here on the Westside. The Better Buffalo Fund is producing projects such as The Siano Building, which will transform this area of Grant Street and fully develop this location to be a healthy and sustainable neighborhood in the City of Buffalo. Walkable neighborhoods that encourage alternative transportation in mixed use development create an environment of smart and collaborative growth that benefits everyone. I want to thank the Better Buffalo Fund, as well as the Siano brothers for their commitment to Grant Street.”



Top Job Winner Buffalo Geothermal

NY-GEO 2018


Buffalo Geothermal Wins Top Job

Buffalo Geothermal Heating Wins NY-GEO ‘Top Job’ Award

The objective of the GeoStar Top Job Competition is to highlight and recognize the incredible talent, creativity and imagination that exists in geothermal system designers and installers. An additional aim is to communicate to those outside the industry the variety of ways that geothermal heat pump technology can be applied. Our job switched 72 low-income apartments in Western New York from electric baseboard heating to 100% geothermal heating, cooling and domestic hot water using shared closed loop fields. Read more.

Image result for top job award buffalo geothermal

“The capstone of the two-day event continues to be the “Top-Job” competition. Among the entries included the impressive St. Patrick’s Cathedral geothermal conversion in Manhattan and the William F. Buck Middle School conversion from the public city water mains in Valley Stream, New York.

With such an impressive list of entries, the decision was difficult for the panel of judges. The 72-unit Lockport Housing Authority geothermal conversion won the day. Jens Ponikau of Buffalo Geothermal in Cheektowaga, New York, worked closely with the housing authority to convert the facility with a small footprint on time and on budget.” – theNEWS