Geothermal Design Sprint

Geothermal Design Sprint


The Need

Boise’s geothermal utility struggled in recent years due to depressed revenue during the pandemic. At the same time, the geothermal system is aging and needs maintenance to continue growing in the future. We knew we needed to think creatively about ways to increase revenue, awareness, and utilization of Boise’s geothermal utility.  

Green building plaque on a brick building.

The Solution

We led a human-centered design project that leveraged community outreach and city expertise to co-create ideas to expand use of the geothermal utility. We engaged over 100 residents and generated 700 ideas. We learned while many building owners, tenants, and residents strongly support using geothermal due to its effectiveness and climate benefits.  

Deeper Dive

We also uncovered key barriers to expanding geothermal that would be important to address, including cost of the technology and awareness of geothermal energy. Overall, there is incredible interest in geothermal among Boiseans, and the opportunity to expand the impact of geothermal will be key in helping us meet our collective climate commitments.  

From the design sprint project, our city team developed a list of several recommendations, ranging in scope, impact, and difficulty. All of them have the potential to drive increased use of geothermal energy in Boise and help improve our city-operated utility.  

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