Celebrating 16 Years at Colorado Geothermal Drilling

16 years ago this month we founded Colorado Geothermal Drilling and began our journey into ‘planned unemployment’.

Dan jokes we’ve been unemployed since starting our own business- doesn’t feel like work when you love what you do! We began planning our future employment in our 20’s when we lived in Iowa. We went through all kinds of scenarios on where, when, and how we would bring geothermal to more people. Little did we know that a job offer for Kari in Colorado would bring us here and end up being one of the best decisions we ever made. We packed up everything we owned and sold our house in a matter of weeks and ventured out West. Initially, Dan worked for another engineering firm and Kari as an athletic trainer. After one year in Colorado things started falling into place and it’s fun to look back at how everything worked out. Dan’s raise and bonus that year were unimpressive and led us to make the decision to go all in and for him to leave his engineering firm. Even when his firm tried to counter him with a new offer he told them he didn’t even want to know what it was. We would live on Kari’s little salary and take a leap of faith. No longer working for ‘the man’ was a dream we shared and knew we would make happen.

Those early years were very impactful as we learned so much about how to start a small business, different installation scenarios, operating and designing equipment, grouting, streamlining processes, marketing, networking and building relationships. So many people impacted us in the beginning and lent us an ear for all of our questions. Dan met Sam Bandimere and began to soak in everything about drilling. Dan’s father, Doug, was our first employee and his parents took a risk and lent us money to buy equipment and materials. Luckily a few people had some trust in us. We paid that loan back within a few years and I’ll never forget the banker for praising us for paying off his parents second mortgage LOL. I just laughed and said it was what we owed them for supporting us.

Owners at Colorado Geothermal Drilling

“To be the one to make the decisions that directly impact your life is a wonderful thing.”

Many people will measure your success based on how large your company is and how much money you make. Size and money have never been our goals. We wanted to make the decisions that would impact us in ways that working for others used to.  We wanted to run a company that treats its employees like we wanted to be treated. To provide outstanding service and education to our partners and commitment to quality for our clients. To learn from missteps and improve ourselves and our business on our journey. To leave a mark in our industry and better it. To support our community and other business owners in ways we couldn’t before. To be the best at what we do and hopefully lead a fulfilling life along the way. And to bring affordable and quality geothermal to all.

Our journey hasn’t been with out challenge and sacrifice. But I like to think we’ve embraced everything that has come at us with an attitude to conquer it, learn from it,  and only repeat the things that make us effective, efficient, and better. Thank you to all of the people along the way that have supported us, done business with us, worked for us, and partnered with us. We would not be where we are today with out you!

Geothermal: Drill. Conquer. Repeat

Two Geothermal Projects Featured on RMPBS

Two geothermal projects installed by Colorado Geothermal Drilling were featured in the Heart of a Building premier on Rocky Mountain PBS (RMPBS). This episode seeks to promote living, working, and playing in spaces that are cleaner, healthier, and better – for the environment and for our families. Three different projects highlight these and showcase the expertise behind energy efficient building. You can find this episode of Heart of a Building on Rocky Mountain PBS.

The sponsors of our videos are an incredibly important part of the Heart of a Building team for the obvious reasons that they afford us the ability to showcase more and more inspiring stories but also because of our shared desire to leave the world better than we found it.

Colorado Geothermal Drilling was proud to be a part of both of these projects. First Universalist Church and the residential home are two great examples of transforming structures into sustainable renewable energy systems. Sometimes things are more important than money. A shared conviction of sustainable living, a desire for reduced reliance of fossil fuels, and the need to create buildings that not only last generations but use fewer resources to do so were combined goals on these projects. With growing interest in renewable energy and sustainability we are committed to bringing geothermal systems to all.

Learn more about installing geothermal here!

With over 15 years of experience in all aspects of the design and installation of energy-efficient geothermal systems Colorado Geothermal Drilling has successfully completed over 600 geothermal installation projects throughout the Front Range.

We can answer any questions you may have.  We want to make sure our clients have the most energy-efficient geothermal system to fit their needs and budget.

Congress Extends Tax Benefits for Geothermal Heat Pumps

Geothermal Heat Pump Tax Credits
Geothermal Heating and Cooling
Geothermal Heating and Cooling

By Kari Rau

December 30, 2020: In the newest spending bill recently passed by Congress, legislation includes key renewable energy tax credit extensions for Geothermal Heat Pumps. Previously, the tax credits were set to decrease after December 31, 2020 to 22%. Now, the tax credits will remain in effect at 26% until the end of 2022. In 2023, the credit steps down to 22% and then expires in 2024. Note: the tax credit was at 30% in 2019 until it deceased to 26% in 2020.

What Does This Mean?

It means that homeowners that want the most energy efficient heating and cooling system available can now continue to receive a 26% tax credit through December 31, 2022. Just considering a geothermal system in your home puts in you in an elite category of exceptionally smart homeowners. We call them Genius Geothermal Homeowners because they are not just looking to save money, they want to reduce their reliance on fossil fuels and build sustainable, safe, and efficient homes.

Who Is Eligible for the Geothermal Tax Credit?

For most homeowners, any geothermal heat pump placed into service before December 31, 2022 can be eligible for the federal tax credit. There are certain energy efficiency requirements that must be met so make sure to determine that with your installer. Keep in mind you can also combine other applicable energy efficiency upgrades like solar too. And as always, consult a tax professional for guidance.

Are There Other Geothermal Incentives or Rebates Available?

For our clients in Colorado, check with your local utility company for possible geothermal heat pump rebates. United Power offers a Geothermal Heat Pump Rebate Program, more information HERE. Xcel Energy also offers heat pump rebates. And for our norther Colorado clients, Poudre Valley REA also offers geothermal heat pump rebates.

Certain requirements apply to each program such as Energy Star requirements, installer requirements, etc so make sure you familiarize yourself and ask your HVAC contractor or geothermal installer.

what we doWhat Are The Benefits of Having a Geothermal System?

The perks of having a geothermal system installed in your home are abundant and now is a great time to get an energy efficient, environmentally friendly, eco-luxury geothermal system. To learn more about geothermal benefits Click Here.

The landscape for promoting the use of energy efficient renewable energy is ever changing. As more and more people see the benefits and advantages of installing these systems in their homes, they are always asking us, “Why aren’t more people doing this?!”. The good news is that it more and more people are!

Family-owned and operated since 2005, Colorado Geothermal Drilling has been the leading installation contractor for geothermal systems along the Front Range in Colorado. We strive to master leading edge technology and pride ourselves on the quality of services we commit to our clients. Our set-up is unique as we are able to access compact areas with our equipment, setting us apart from other drilling operations. With our vast knowledge of geothermal design and installation we can provide customers with valuable information, answering any questions, and providing the best energy efficient system to fit the clients’ needs. The combination of this equipment and our personnel allow us to successfully and repeatedly complete numerous drilling projects along the Front Range. We can also assist a client’s other contractors during any part of the planning process. We want to make sure our clients have the most energy efficient geothermal system to fit their needs.

With over 600 systems installed, our background in geothermal design and installation is incomparable. With a growing interest in renewable energy, we are committed to bringing affordable geothermal systems to all! We are the geothermal experts.

Colorado Geothermal Drilling Nominated for Business of the Year 2020

Colorado Geothermal Drilling Nominated as Business of the Year
Colorado Geothermal Drilling Nominated as Business of the Year
Brighton Chamber Awards 2020

December 16, 2020: Colorado Geothermal Drilling was proud to learn they were nominated for Business of the Year 2020 by the Brighton Chamber of Commerce.

“With 2020 coming to a close, we are thankful to have such amazing clients, partners, and supporters and will continue to lead our team straightforward, unbroken, and unhindered to another fortunate year. We made decisions that weren’t always right from a ‘business sense’, but were the ‘right thing to do’. Something we know we will continue to do in our future. We are so honored to be nominated for this award and we don’t think it would be nearly as meaningful any other year. And for that we are proud and thankful to be members of such a great community.” Thank you Brighton!

Founded in 2005, Colorado Geothermal Drilling is the leading installation contractor for geothermal systems along the Front Range of Colorado. We are a family-owned and operated business, and handle both residential and commercial projects, large and small. With over 600 systems installed, our background in geothermal design and installation is incomparable. With a growing interest in renewable energy, we are committed to bringing affordable geothermal systems to all! We are the geothermal experts.

Geothermal in Apartment Buildings

Geothermal in Apartments

Colorado Geothermal Drilling Installed a Geothermal System in a Large Multi Family Building to Provide Unique Savings to Developers in Brighton, CO

On a project in Colorado, 12 apartment buildings comprised of 288 one-, two-, three-bedroom apartments are being heated and cooled by a geothermal system installed by Colorado Geothermal Drilling.

Over a period of approximately 12 weeks, our crew of 3-4 on-site geothermal installers drilled in 120 310-foot loops and four 380-foot loops for a combined total of just over 15 miles of geothermal pipe in the ground. The skid mounted drill and crew averaged about 610 vertical-feet drilling a day while grouting and backfilling boreholes. Work efficiency was essential to this project so the skilled crew worked tirelessly to develop processes that allowed them to complete more work in a safe and timely manner. Once drilling was completed on a building, headering occurred the following week and drilling continued on the next building. This kept the project delivery on schedule and continued as framing of the buildings began.

Interior work for the project was no different. Each apartment was supplied with their own heat pump. Each building was supplied with its own circulation system of 2 ECM variable speed circulation pumps. Twelve buildings and a club house completed the project. All of the drilling took place after the building foundations were backfilled. Rough installation of interior pipe was done during rough duct work installation. After painting was complete, heat pumps were set and final piping connections were made to each heat pump, mechanical room piping was installed, and the geothermal system was purged for the apartment building.

With utility company and federal rebate incentives, and a proper, economically designed system and installation; these large geothermal heat pump projects are very feasible. Lower overall energy use for heating and cooling systems are very attractive to developers, building owners, and residents. The combination of all these savings off-set the higher up front costs and make the geothermal system competitive and more cost effective than a conventional HVAC system over the long term.

Colorado Geothermal Drilling has designed and installed over 600 geothermal projects and is owned by Dan and Kari Rau. For any questions on this geothermal project, contact Dan at dan@cogeothermal.com.

Colorado Geothermal Drilling Finalist for 2020 Top Company Award

ColoradoBiz 2020 Top Company Finalist Colorado Geothermal Drilling

CEO Dan Rau’s engineering background and childhood on a Midwest dairy farm have made him passionate about building safer and more efficient equipment. That helps family-owned Colorado Geothermal Drilling install its cost-effective heating and cooling systems with less equipment and manpower.

“Because of geothermal’s unique heating and cooling benefits, the industry is really growing,” says co-owner and Vice President Kari Rau, Dan’s wife, noting that it can reduce peak loads for utilities and reduce fossil-fuel dependence. “As more thought goes into developing our homes and communities to be more energy efficient, geothermal is truly a natural way to do this and works well with other renewable energies like wind and solar.”

Dan and Kari Rau on Panel to Discuss Geothermal Possibilities in Colorado

Colorado Geothermal Drilling owners, Dan and Kari Rau, were recently invited to be on a panel to discuss Geothermal in Colorado. Colorado Senate Nominee, Sally Boccella hosted the round table event with guests including HEET Co-Founder Audrey Schulman, Gary Arnold with UA Pipefitters Local 208, Sydnie Lieb with Xcel Energy, and Colorado State Representative Brianna Titone.

The discussion included information on geothermal ground source heat pump systems, employing more Colorado workers, federal and state tax incentives, as well as utilizing geothermal micro districts in future development. It was a thoughtful conversation about what we are doing at Colorado Geothermal Drilling and we always enjoy educating more people about the benefits of geothermal.

Dan and Kari Rau have operated their family owned business, Colorado Geothermal Drilling, since 2005. They have been one of the leading installers for geothermal systems in Colorado, partly due to their unique operation and vast knowledge of geothermal design and installation. Their combination of specialized equipment and experienced personnel has made them a rarity in this field and they are able to provide their customers with valuable information, answering any questions, and providing the best energy efficient system to fit the client’s needs.

Why Geothermal is Still a Great Investment in a Cheap Natural Gas State

Colorado is a great state to start a small business in. With low income-tax rates, low unemployment, and great entrepreneurial energy Colorado frequently ranks high in national rankings for doing business. Which are all fantastic to start a green business like ours. According to the Colorado Energy Office, Colorado ranked 6th in marketed natural gas and has the third largest natural gas reserves in the country. And according to the Energy Information Administration, Colorado ties for 45th for the average price of natural gas (per 1,000 cubic feet)- meaning it tied Alaska, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Oklahoma and Washington as having some of the most inexpensive natural gas prices in the country. Choose Energy reported that in June, Colorado ranked 7th cheapest in natural gas rates in the country. Doesn’t sound great for selling geothermal does it? I disagree and here is why:

One of the biggest comments we get when a client inquires with us about installing geothermal is that they want to reduce their carbon footprint. Younger generations are interested in reducing their impact on our planet, and are educating themselves on ways to do it. From electric vehicles to solar panels to recycling to geothermal, they are choosing to make a conscious effort to make the planet better for its future inhabitants. They want to reduce their reliance on fossil fuels and are figuring out that decarbonization is important to them. Geothermal allows them to reduce their carbon footprint and propel them towards the changes they want to make.

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For other customers, installing a geothermal system is about reducing their utility bill and keeping their future monthly expenses down. As people are aging into their homes they want a system that will last, be comfortable and low maintenance, and save them money. Even with inexpensive natural gas prices in Colorado, many of our customers are still seeing a pay back of 5-8 years when they replace their dated furnace and air conditioner with a geothermal system. Federal tax credits and utility rebates don’t hurt either. One of our client’s called us the other day to tell us how excited he was to be getting a nice check back from his utility company because of his new geothermal system. The cost of his retrofit geothermal system after tax credits and utility rebates was comparable to what he would have paid for total replacement of a less efficient furnace and air conditioner.

As more and more municipalities set Clean Energy and Net Zero Carbon goals, geothermal presents utility companies, homeowners, developers, builders, and investors a means to meet high performing, sustainable development. For example in Boulder county, they have proposed a goal to require all new residential construction to be Zero Net Energy by 2022. More homeowners are educating themselves and realizing that geothermal is a great way to meet these needs. In the next several weeks we will be installing 9 geothermal systems in the Boulder area. Yet just driving to Boulder we probably will pass twenty-some drill rigs, work over rigs or wells in the 25 miles between us- reminding us that Colorado is still a top producer of natural gas. But in my opinion, this is starting to change.

Our state is amply supplied with both fossil fuel and renewable energy resources. And as a green business owner and geothermal industry defender the impact of cheap fossil fuels in our state keeps us advancing our installation game and best practices. We have had to build more compact, efficient and safe equipment and streamline our processes. Maximizing efficient drilling operations helps us keep costs down and present quality, affordable geothermal systems to our customers. We are on a mission to make geothermal accessible and economically viable to all homeowners. So, while natural gas is abundant and cheap in our state, we are upbeat to see homeowners educating themselves about a technology that can check all their boxes. Energy efficient, decreased carbon footprint, save money, safety, comfort, reliable, aesthetically pleasing, security, and no weather damage, corrosion or vandalism. We may not be the biggest and aren’t taking millions of investor dollars into our company, but we are bringing affordable geothermal to more homeowners and simplifying the process with our modern installation practices. We are a small, family owned company that has been providing quality geothermal systems for over 15 years based on our innovative approach and streamlined operation and will continue to provide affordable geothermal solutions to our customers.