SVDN – Geothermal Heat Pump Training (2023.08.09)

Hi, my name is Thurman Darby Essie, and I’m the Energy Efficiency Advocate of Sioux Valley Dakota Nation. I’m here to help with lowering costs of energy used inside homes. By that I use Efficiency Manitoba to help homes with programs that can help fix up older homes or sign up for rebate programs.

With the help of Efficiency Manitoba and Sioux Valley’s Chief and Council, I was introduced to a non-profit company called Aki Energy, their goals are to help create employment and bring natural energy to homes. One item that Aki energy uses is called Geothermal Heat Pumps for homes. It helps lower energy in the home by 40% to 50% and that brings down electricity bills. Sioux Valley has successfully got five members of the community trained in Geothermal Heat pumps. They are Tyrell Ironman, Darnell Essie, Eric Beaulieu, Ashton Wanbdiska, and Darby Essie.

There was a two week course that had to be taken in the winter months that teaches fusing of pipes, understanding the geothermal heat pump, assembling the underground pipes, flushing the system, computer work on how to do a heat loss of homes, also on the computer length of pipe is going to be needed, and which Geothermal Heat Pump would best fit for the home. At the end of each week there was a test.

In the summertime when the ground wasn’t so wet, The Sioux Valley group went back for a three day training on building an eight loop by three header pit system, and inserting it in the building. To pass the final test we had to seal one end of the pipe and compress air into the other. Once it reaches 3.5psi on the air compressor you turn it off. (if the dial goes to zero it fails.) The dial didn’t move so the Sioux Valley group plus the help of the Fisher River group were successful and passed.

On July 19th 2023, Sioux Valley had a Grad for the five members who passed Tyrell Ironman, Darnell Essie, Eric Beaulieu, Ashton Wanbdiska, and Darby Essie at the Band Hall watch was catered by Eden Craig. We had Aki Energy members Honey Courchene, Carl Balan, and Darcy Woodattend. The teachers Brent Laufer (the founding president of the MGEA) and Kristen Laufer. With Dianna Roulette and Adam Subject from Sioux Valley to give speeches.

If you are interested in getting Geothermal inside your home or even interested in take Geothermal Training, you can contact Thurman Darby Essie at 1(204)720-4500 or in his office between 8:30am to 4:30pm on the second flood of the governance building, and Email is