One of our goals in 2012 is to explore what can be done to make geothermal a mainstream technology.

To get some more insights into what we need to do as an industry, I had a conversion with Harold, the founder and CEO of 360Chestnut.

The discussion is around 20 minutes, here is what we talked about:

  • What 360 Chestnut is doing around educating homeowners about geothermal.
  • Why Harold loves his geothermal system more then his kids (sometimes).
  • How and why Harold decided to get into the geothermal industry.
  • What are your thoughts on installing geothermal versus upgrading the shell of a building?
  • What is the story of 360 Chestnut? Why was it created and what specifically are you working on within the geothermal industry?
  • Why every home should be at least consider geothermal.
  • Do you think 360 Chestnut is more of a ‘geothermal missionary’, someone who is converting non-believers, or are you preaching to the choir, are you looking to find the people that already want geothermal?
  • What do you see as the main problems with geothermal industry going mainstream?
  • How does the fragmented geothermal industry, both in manufactures and installers, make it difficult for the industry to market itself to homeowners?
  • Why should a contractor work with 360 Chestnut instead of creating their own site that attracts homeowners? Why would a homeowner go to your site first, instead of companies that are actually doing the installations?

  • Contractors are extremely risk averse, why would they ever want to pay for a lead that might not turn into a project, instead of paying for an actual project that has been completed?
  • What do you see as the role of geothermal financing? Why don’t we take the lessons learned from solar PV financing and apply them to geothermal? There are three models that work in PV, is there a limitation in the geothermal technology that will not allow this to happen?
  • There are a lot of companies exploring the same business model you have: EcoOutfitters, EnergySage, EnergySavvy. Is this because this model is so profitable everyone wants to do it, or it’s because it’s easy to start?
  • With this being said, why would a contractor want to work with you verus a company I listed above?
  • What are your thoughts on other things the geothermal industry needs to do to go mainstream? How can we get away from the early adopters and start focusing on mainstream customers?
Just for fun, here are some videos of Harold’s geothermal system. 

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