Goettl Air Conditioning Inc., Phoenix, Ariz., reports that earlier this year, three of its 20-ton Goettl gas chillers were installed at La Quinta Resort, Palm Springs, to work in conjunction with an existing 100-ton electric chiller. As it turned out, the three gas units were able to carry the load through spring, giving the resort the flexibility to choose to operate without its electric chiller.

"There's a lot of interest in gas cooling in California," said Anne Smith, vice president of Customer Services and marketing at SoCalGas. "It's to everyone's advantage to go this way." In the state over the last two years, Goettl has installed more than 400 tons of equipment in 15 and 20-ton heat pumps and 20-ton chillers. The company expects to offer 25 and 30-ton heat pumps and a 30-ton chiller in the near future.

The Wall Street Journal reported April 26 that "From Manhattan to Montana, worries are mounting that a California-style electricity crisis could be on the way," due to both problems in the deregulation process of the 90s and the aging, overloaded transmission lines that carry electricity. "The result: In some parts of the country there may be no way to deliver enough power when and where it's needed most."

Meanwhile, energy costs continue to rise. Hotels in a growing number of states, according to an article in USA Today, are requiring guests to help foot soaring energy bills. "California hotels started the trend in January when they began tacking energy surcharges of $1.50 to $4 a night onto guests' bills. Similar fees have now spread to at least 16 states and the District of Columbia, where electricity and natural gas prices have risen."