While geothermal system may be more expensive to install, they can pay back the difference in energy savings in just a few years. And they can typically pay back the full cost in less than 5 years.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, geothermal systems average 40 percent greater efficiency than air-source heat pumps, 48 percent better than natural gas furnaces and 75 percent better than oil furnaces.
Detailed Economic Analysis: Alliant Energy's operating facility in Galena, Illinois
The real-life examples below from the Geothermal Heat Pump Consortium show the significant impact geothermal can have on your bottom line:
- A Conoco Service Station in Sandstone, Minnesota estimates annual energy cost savings of 25 percent for their 4,300-square-foot facility.
- The Enterprise Center, a 36,000-square-foot office complex in Philadelphia, estimates annual energy cost savings of $29,279.
- The Daily Family YMCA in Bixby, Oklahoma, cut monthly energy bills by 45 percent compared to similarly-sized YMCAs. They expect a net savings of nearly $100,000 over a ten-year period.
Louisville, Kentucky's Galt House East Hotel expanded its system in 1993, making the office/hotel/apartment complex the world's largest geothermal installation - 1,200 heat pumps with a capacity of 4,500 tons. The facility saves $300,000 a year in energy costs compared to a sister hotel across town. They also saved 25,000 square feet of space and reduced maintenance costs to 7.5 to 10 cents per square foot per year.
To learn more, download the Consortium's brochure on GeoExchange: The Best Business Decision for Heating and Cooling Commercial Buildings.