RE: Cost of eco building
From: Alexander Robin A (
Date: Sat, 12 Nov 2005 08:13:10 -0800 (PST)
But there's one caveat - since this type of unit is still relatively rare, 
service can be a problem. At EC we were pretty much at the mercy of one service 
company who used his monopoly position to charge very high prices. I found that 
energy cost savings for a year or two could easily be wiped out by one service 
call. Otherwise, they were great units.
Robin Alexander


From: Robert [mailto:robert [at]]
Sent: Sat 11/12/2005 8:02 AM
To: Cohousing-L
Subject: Re: [C-L]_ Cost of eco building

Every house in Eno Commons incorporates a geothermal heat pump and other
green technologies.

"Advanced Energy did a follow up energy use study which proved that homes at
Eno Commons on average used 60% less energy for heating and cooling than the
average for homes built in the same time period (using Duke Energy's North
Carolina database for 1998-1999)."

I seem to recall the upfront additional expense of a geothermal heat pumps
was in the neighborhood of $5K (includes a $2K discount from economies of
scale).  So the payback period is about 5 years.

-Robert Heinich
 Eno Commons Cohousing
 Durham, NC
 whose geothermal heat pumps are now beyond the payback period and therefore
are free

----- Original Message -----
From: <Mlj45 [at]>
To: <cohousing-l [at]>
Sent: Friday, November 11, 2005 7:58 AM
Subject: [C-L]_ Cost of eco building

> We are a newly forming co-housing group in Ulster County New York, and we
> are currently in the design stage. We are discussing the costs of
> "building
> green", installing solar, geo thermal, etc... We are wondering if anyone
> has any
> information about balancing out the initial costs of building green,
> versus
> how  long it might take to get back the initial extra investmant in energy
> savings.  We know, of course, the value of building green, but need some
> feed back
> on the  financial part. Thanks, Lynne James, Ulster County  Co-Housing
> _________________________________________________________________
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