Innovative GeoSmart Energy earns solid reputation for expertise and knowledge
By GREG McMILLAN
There’s an adage used by sports teams that goes something like this: You’re only as good as the players around you. In many ways, that same maxim applies to the business world. And a specific example can be found with GeoSmart Energy, one of the largest non-manufacturing based distributors of geothermal heating and cooling solutions.
How does the GeoSmart team push the envelope? They make sure their geothermal specialists and their customers have access to the most effective and efficient geothermal energy products and services available on the market today.
“GeoSmart Energy is a brand of geothermal heat pumps,” says Chad Brezynskie, Vice-President, Sales & Marketing, GeoSmart Energy. “We are a privately-owned Canadian company with a grassroots team that has come from the trenches. And we have an amazing group of contractors on our team.”
Brezynskie tells Green Building and Sustainable Strategies magazine that the contractors, in fact, allow GeoSmart to pull away from the field. “They are the ones that do all the hard work. They take our product to market and we appreciate every opportunity they give us to work with them on a project.”
GeoSmart, Brezynskie says, separates itself from competitors by only working with a select group of contractors, then supporting them from design to project completion. And that could also involve collaborations with architects, engineers and building owners. “It’s not just geothermal, it’s high-performance geothermal,” he says. “Just about anyone can make it work, but that shouldn’t be the measure of success”.
Follow up in a year or two. Is the customer happy? Are they as comfortable as they thought they would be? “We believe the measure for success is whether the system is performing as planned, or better. It’s about achieving performance and comfort. Doing that comes with experience and we have a lot of that.”
Besides having a full line of residential and high performance commercial product available, GeoSmart also prides itself on ingenuity. “We have the right products for virtually any project,” says Brezynskie, “but when it comes to the heart of the system – the outside loop – we have been quite innovative.”
One example is how GeoSmart decided to create a unique identity for geothermal ground loops about 10 years ago. “Gas pipe is yellow, sometimes orange, and almost everything else is black,” he says. “That’s what most of our competitors use – black. But not us, we created green geothermal pipe. That’s what colour it should be. If someone is digging and they hit a green pipe, now they know what it is.” But GeoSmart didn’t stop there. “We looked at the material the pipe was made of, as well, and improved on that. The industry always used PE3608. It’s a pretty good resin, very good at handling pressure and temperature change and transfers heat fairly well. “But our green geothermal pipe uses PE100. It has all the same properties [high density polyethylene] of the previous generations of resin, but with dramatically higher strength. This means we can use a thinner wall, and still have a higher pressure rating, all the while achieving better heat transfer. “So all of our pipe is green and is made of PE100. It’s the best.”
The cost and energy-efficiency of geothermal is also a big selling point, he says. “We can reduce a building’s cooling cost by 50 per cent and that can be a huge saving in a large office building. And heating costs for a rural home using propane or oil can be reduced by up to 75% with geothermal. It’s huge.”
The GeoSmart team sees a lot of different construction methods and architecturally-challenging projects, however Brezynskie says any uniqueness is never especially daunting. “We can always integrate into the environment seamlessly,” he says. “That’s the thing about selling comfort, it just needs to be there … all around you. You can’t see it or hear it, it’s just there.”