Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Going Geothermal in Minnesota

My wife and I decided to take a step forward in the greening of our lifestyle. We've signed a contract to install a geothermal heat pump. It will be going in over the next two months. It will consist of seven wells, each 180' deep. This is over sized for our 2400 square foot home, but we think the extra capacity will help the efficiency of our system.

The entire system will cost about $27,000. A 30% federal tax rebate will shave about $8100 off the system. Our electric coop will pay about another $2000. For less than the cost of an average vehicle, we believe we will conserve about 50% of our heating costs while lowering our carbon emissions.

In fact, I have been holding off buying a new car for several years. I'm still driving my 2004 Mercury Mountaineer. It is a gas pig, but for years now I have vowed to drive it until I can buy a Chevy Volt or a Nissan Leaf. Those vehicles are not available in my area yet. Hopefully, I'll get the bank loan paid off on the geothermal system about the time my Mountaineer is ready for the recycling heap, and use the line of credit to buy the Volt.

Extra costs for the geothermal system will include the electrical wiring, and landscaping to repair the damage to our backyard and sprinkler system.

Our propane furnace will remain installed so that we will qualify for the low dual-heat rate, which is $.051 instead of .097, a big savings.

The permitting process is underway. I'll post some pictures.