A friend of my recently started working for Waterfurnace – a company that makes geothermal heating systems. Being one who’s worked in the Green-energy industry and blogging frequently about it you’d think I’d have been apprised of what a slam dunk it is. I wasn’t. I figured it was like Solar PV – something people do to feel good about themselves. No, this is a true money saver within 7 years complete payoff (probably 5 years now, given oil costs), and so I think we can expect massive growth here. What’s more important payback is done without government subsidies (unlike solar PV), and the suppliers are profitable. Profitability means scalability, and as far as I know wind-turbines and geothermal are the only profitable renewable companies out there – and geothermal is by far the most affordable one. So you’re going to see geothermal explode in the next 10-20 years – it’s all economics. Check out this clip:
Wouldn’t you know it … the best solutions are the simple and cheap ones. While Pres. Bush throws your tax $ toward a fabled hydrogen-based economy involving the most complicated, expensive, and energy wasting distribution methods, most people can cut their heating and cooling costs by 75% by planting a bunch of pipes in their backyard and retrofitting it with a heat exchanger.
On average you’ll save enough to pay it off in 5-10 years. The payoff for solar PV (the other homeowner-owned renewable) is closer to 10-20 years even with 50% government subsidies – what a waste of our taxes – that money should go toward CSP, wind turbine farms, or geothermal plants. If you do a payment plan & have good credit you can possibly do geothermal with no money down and then see your monthly heating/cooling bills significantly drop immediately. Lending companies like it better too for multiple reasons. What’s not there to love?!
Lastly, you’ll also get that”feel good” warm fuzzy I mentioned above, knowing you’re doing something to help out. As much as 30% of our nation’s energy is spent on heating & cooling. If everyone utilized geothermal then that could be nearly as high as a 20% reduction in our country’s energy consumption, plus that savings goes back to drive the economy.