Re: Cost of eco building
From: Michael Barrett (
Date: Fri, 11 Nov 2005 19:30:38 -0800 (PST)
I can add some data to John Beutler's email about our ground source heating and 
air conditionong at Liberty Village here in Maryland.

In January 2003 my ground source "loop" had to be disconnected for a week 
(while a sinkhole was repaired).  Knowing this was going to happen I 
deliberately read my electric meter daily while the ground source loop was 
operating and while it was not, when the backup electric resistance heating 
kicked in.  The cost difference was profound.  My electric bill (which also 
supports electric cookstove, hot water heater, refrigerator, TV, lighting, 
etc.) averaged $4.50 a day with ground source and $14.00/day without ground 
source!  It was an exceptionally cold January.   In January  2005 my average 
electric cost was $2.85 a day.

John says his bill is $120/month. I don't know what he is doing over there.  My 
house is very similar (but there is only me in it), and my most expensive month 
this year was $91.35,  the cheapest $35.22

John neglected to mention that "excess" ground source heat is transferred into 
the electric hot water heater, further reducing costs.  Some weeks after moving 
into a newly built home one resident complained that her hot water wasn't very 
hot . It turned out that the electric hot water heater wasn't even turned on, 
and she was just using the scavanged ground source heat .

Ground source is very good! I heartily commend it 

Michael Barrett

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