North Itasca Electric Co-operative, Inc

Heating Programs

Ground Source Heat Pump

Ground Source Heat/Cooling Pump System

Ground source heat pumps are the most energy efficient means of heating a home or business, requiring much less energy to maintain desired temperatures.

Electricity is sold at the standard electric rate, but only a 25 to 30% of the energy is needed compared to other sources of heating and cooling systems.

With a qualifying backup system your heat pump can be placed on the dual fuel rate of 5.65. At 300% to 400% efficiency this is equivalent to paying 1.4 to 1.8 cents per kWh.

The earth maintains 40 to 50 degree temperatures year around below the frost line. Instead of raising temperatures from -30 degree outdoor to +70 (100 degrees), you only need to raise temperatures from +50 to +70 degrees (a 20 degree temperature difference).

The Federal government is offering a tax credit of 30% off the cost of installation until 2016. North Itasca Electric is also offering $400 per ton rebates. CEE loans are available at a rate of 2.9% interest.




Air Source Heat Pump Program 

Air Source Heat Pump
  • Air-Source Heat Pumps are basically central air-conditioning units with a couple of extra parts that allow it to run in reverse to heat the home in addition to cooling it.

  • On the dual fuel program electricity is sold for 5.65 cents per kWh.

  • In the winter, power is supplied to the heat pump except during peak periods. During these peak periods, the power to the heat pump is turned off and the backup heating source is used.

  • There are no specific time periods load control can occur. In the winter, they can occur for a few hours or up to 12 hours at a time. In the summer, they can occur for a few hours or up to 6 hours at a time. North Itasca Electric does not know when the control periods will occur, but they are listed daily on Great River Energy's website. There is a high likelihood of the power being shut off when the outside temperature either drops below 0 degrees or rises above 90 degrees.

  • The heat pump (with or without a plenum heater) requires a thermostatically controlled non-electric heating source in order to qualify for the program. The electric heat must be wired as the primary heating source, and be able to supply over 50% of the heating for the entire home. The non-electric heating source must be able to provide 100% of the home's heating requirements.

  • Wood heat does NOT qualify as a backup heating source in this program. Gas fireplaces do qualify as a backup ir they are thermostatically controlled and can provide 100% of the homes heating requirements. It is recommended that a propane furnace with a plenum heater be installed which would function as an air handler as well as circulator.

  • Storage furnaces and properly sized storage slab heating systems are the only electric heating options that can be used in conjunction with the cycled heat pump rate without having a propane or fuel oil back-up system.

  • If installed by a Q.I. Certified contractor under Great River Energy's testing requirements, North Itasca Electric will rebate a portion of the installation.

  • REBATES:
    • $480 - 14.5 SEER
    • $580 - 15.0 SEER
    • $630 - 15.5 SEER


Dual Fuel Space Heating

One component of the Dual Fuel program
  • Electricity is sold for 5.65 cents per kWh.

  • Electric heat and a thermostatically controlled non-electric heating source is required to qualify for the program. The electric heat must be wired as the primary heating source, and be able to supply over 50% of the heating for the entire home.

  • The non-electric heating source must be able to provide 100% of the home's heating requirements.

  • Wood heat does NOT qualify as a backup heating source for this program. Gas fireplaces do not qualify as a backup unless they are furnace rated and thermostatically controlled and able to provide 100% of the heating load.

  • the other component of the Dual Fuel Program
  • Peak periods occur during no specific time period. They can occur for a few hours or up to 12 hours at a time. While we are never sure when a dual fuel control period will occur, there is a high likelihood of the power being shut off when the temperature drops rapidly.

  • The electric portion of the heating system can be turned off for extended periods per heating season. A fully automated, thermostatically controlled backup system is an essential requirement to maintain comfort.

  • Baseboard heaters, plenum heaters, electric furnaces and boilers have all been used on the dual fuel program.



Storage Heating with Brick Steffes Units 

Room Unit
  • Electricity is sold for 4.7 cents per kWh.

  • Storage capacity of the room units must be equivalent to the heating requirements of the rooms being heated unless a secondary non-electric heating source is used.

  • Heat radiates and/or blows from the room units throughout the day and is recharged each night.

  • In order to have enough stored heating capacity for 16 hours of OFF time, a typical room unit's input energy will need to be sized slightly more than twice the calculated heat loss of the room.

  • Room storage units are filled with bricks that can be heated from 500 to 1300 degrees each night.

  • Charging temperatures vary with outside weather conditions to provide comfortable heat without wasting energy.

Storage Heating with Steffes Whole-House Furnace 

Whole-House Furnace
  • Electricity is sold for 4.6 cents per kWh.

  • Storage capacity of the furnace must be equivalent to the heating requirements of the home unless a secondary non-electric heating source is used.

  • Heat is stored in bricks and transferred to either air or water to be distributed throughout the house.

  • The bricks give off heat throughout the day and are recharged each night.

  • In order to have enough stored heating capacity for 16 hours of OFF time, the typical furnace's input energy will need sized to slightly more than twice the calculated heat loss of the house.

  • Whole-house storage furnaces are filled with bricks that can be heated from 500 to 1300 degrees each night. Charging temperatures vary with outside weather conditions to provide comfortable heat without wasting energy.

  • Forced-air models can be used in conjunction with an air-source heat pump to obtain even lower operating costs.

  • Rebates: $50 per kW of furnace size

Storage Heating with Floor Slab 

Floor Slab
  • Electricity is sold for 4.7 cents per kWh.

  • Storage capacity of the slab must be equivalent to the heating requirements of the room unless a secondary non-electric heating source is used. An exception is radiant floor warming that is not intended to heat the entire room.

  • Electricity is supplied by a boiler or electric mats for 8 hours each night. Power is typically on from around 11:00 PM to 7:00 AM.

  • The heat radiates from the slab throughout the day and is recharged each night.

  • In order to have enough stored heating capacity, a typical slab heating system will need to have the tubing or electric mats placed in a minimum of 8" of sand or about 12 inches below the top of the concrete slab. The boiler or electric mats will need to be sized slightly more than twice the calculated heat loss of the building in order to saturate the slab with enough energy for 16 hours until the sand is recharged again for the following day.


Great River Energy Control: www.greatriverenergy.com
11:00 pm to 7:11 am +/- 1 hour

Minnkota Control: www.beltramielectric.com and PBTV channel 301
Most likely from 7:00 am to 12:00 (5 hrs) and 5:00 pm to 11 pm (6 hours)

For more information on Steffes furnaces and room units, see www.steffes.com or www.heatforlessnow.com




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