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Old Sep 3rd, 2005, 09:19 PM   #1
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Alternative Energy

GA asked in another thread about geothermal energy, so I started this thread.

My business plan of Geothermal Energy researched the cost for a residential application to be $17 to $23 K (2000 ft home). With government incentives (e.g. BC Hydro), this cost might be reduced by a few thousand dollars. I think BC Hydro might provide up to $5K.

If you were to finance such a system, it would cost $140 month, assuming a 20 year loan. Assuming and 60% savings in heating costs, your heating bill would have to be around $250 per month to begin with. Geothermal also works very well for air conditioning, so you electrical bill would be reduced as well. So, the cost is close, but is still a little bit too high for it to be widely accepted.

I figured I would need about 100 residential applications per year for such a company to make sense.
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Old Sep 3rd, 2005, 09:58 PM   #2
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We heat our house with electricity, and a bit of firewood when the power goes out (happens frequently here in the winter). It's a little house, not much more than a cabin really, and the electric bill averages around $60/month, the bulk of which is probably heat.

I expect that electricity prices will start to climb, I've heard that many places already pay more than double what we do in BC, so $140/month may not be out of the question. Especially since after you pay for it, I expect that the cost would be close to free, just maintenance and whatever power the equipment requires.

Is it possible that groups of homes could share some of the costs? Maybe in the city even whole blocks?
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Old Sep 3rd, 2005, 10:13 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by GratuitousApplesauce
We heat our house with electricity, and a bit of firewood when the power goes out (happens frequently here in the winter). It's a little house, not much more than a cabin really, and the electric bill averages around $60/month, the bulk of which is probably heat.

I expect that electricity prices will start to climb, I've heard that many places already pay more than double what we do in BC, so $140/month may not be out of the question. Especially since after you pay for it, I expect that the cost would be close to free, just maintenance and whatever power the equipment requires.

Is it possible that groups of homes could share some of the costs? Maybe in the city even whole blocks?
The cost reduction is around 60 to 70%. You need electricty to power the pump and heat exchanger.

Yes, groups of homes can share the costs and some new subdivisions are doing this.

The other thing people need to consider is that a geothermal system is value added in that it increases the value of your home from reduced energy costs. In contrast, electric, gas and other forms of heating are sunk costs.
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