questionsspeaking of "green," does anyone have a ground…

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I have natural gas, which is pretty green anyway and my furnace is new. What I really want is the hybrid electric/heat pumpy thingy water heater, but I can't afford it. I saw one installed on Ask This Old House, and I really really want the house fairy to deliver one. I would just settle for a new gas water heater though, I hate my electric one.

Oh I would also volunteer to have solar panels put on my roof.

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@hobbit: You and me both! Up until just before I started researching it, my state had a great rebate program for solar. Alas, I missed the boat, and there is almost no money available to me, and the cost... woah. Working for the local electric company, it also seems a bit hypocritical :-/

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A few years ago I did a website for a waterfront FSBO; they had a geothermal system. I had absolutely no idea what it was, so I looked it up and did a little research. My first thought when I understood what a geothermal system was, "This just makes so much sense!"

Because of what I'd learned, when our air source heat pump began failing two years ago, we opted to install a geothermal system. It cost us $20,000. A replacement high efficiency air source would have cost us $8000.

Cost breakdown:

System life expectancy
Air source - 10 years: $16,000
Ground source - 20 years: $20,000

Rebates/Credits
Air source: $0
Ground source: $6000 ($3000 state & $3000 federal)

Yearly Savings
Air source: $0 (since we were replacing an air source)
Ground source: $1200 (actual savings each year for the past two years)

Twenty year cost of Geothermal System
$20000 - $1200 savings x 20 years - $6000 rebates = $10,000 credit

These are my actual numbers, not some government propaganda.

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my house is really small, and I live in the south east. I really need to find a more efficient A/C unit. Those cost savings are impressive though. I was just looking at how much I have paid to the city - which is my electric, water and garbage for the past 3 years and it is barely 5,000 for the three years. My monthly bill is 117.00 basically the summer kills me with the A/C.

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@hobbit: I save 50% in the summer. Avg kwh/day usage pre-geothermal was 66. Post-geothermal is 33 kwh/day. Much of the savings comes from the system pulling the heat out of the house and dumping it into the hot water tank. Free hot water all summer long.

The geothermal system is literally a win-win. Great for the environment and great on our pocketbook.

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@debbiedunlap: For me it would be the inital cost outlay. The system costs about 1/4 of my home's value. If I had a bigger house. Plus I do have the option of Natural Gas. I have thought about getting a tankless water heater when the current one dies.

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@hobbit: Totally understand the initial cost concerns. We're on a tight budget to pay for it over 5 years. You'd have an especially difficult time justifying the expense when the cost vs return is so much smaller because your house is smaller. (Our house is about 2000 sq ft.)

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@debbiedunlap: right mine is 800 sq ft. One bathroom.

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@hobbit: My daughter's house is about the same size. Her electric bill is about the same as yours, too.

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@debbiedunlap: some of that is water, sewer and garbage pick up too. It is a combined bill - not my choice.

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@hobbit: Figured that. Daughter's electric bill + utilities is similar to yours.