Last month readers of this blog learned about the ‘cool’ benefits of the geothermal (or geo-exchange) systems in new homes at Woodland Creek providing comfortable air conditioning and healthy air flow during the warm summer days. Now that sweater weather has arrived on the west coast and cooler weather will follow, new homeowners on Callumwood Lane at Woodland Creek in Sooke, BC will begin to experience the significant energy and cost savings that a geothermal system delivers.
When compared to an equivalent home with electric baseboard heat and electric hot water, energy consumption of a ‘geo’ home during the cooler months of the year (October – March) is cut in half.
What does this translate into in terms of cost savings? Wendy Smith, a Certified Energy Advisor with Victoria based Performance Energy Advisors, completes the energy modeling for Woodland Creek. Her analysis for our Arbutus Plan, an 1889 square foot home, tells us that annual energy consumption is reduced by over 11,000 kWh, a savings of approximately $1075 per year (about $3 per day). So not only can you feel really good about reducing your carbon footprint by about 7.5 tonnes per year, but your can also reduce the impact on your wallet too. Overtime, as energy costs increase, so will your savings with a geothermal system. We think that is a really smart investment in your home, health, and environment.
How does geothermal work? – The homes on Callumwood Lane at Woodland Creek incorporate ground source heat pumps that move heat to and from the earth by circulating fluid through vertical ground loops on each individual lot. Unlike conventional heating systems that burn fossil fuels or use electricity to create heat, heat pumps simply move heat from one place to another. As the outside temperature drops, a geothermal system collects low-grade thermal energy from the ground and concentrates it inside the house. To create hot water, a desuperheater is added to the heat pump. It is a small, auxiliary heat exchanger that uses superheated gases from the heat pump’s compressor to heat water to 140 degrees Farenheit (60 degrees C).
Blair and Warren Robertson of Totangi Properties, are developers of the Sooke, BC Real Estate development, Woodland Creek – a community of affordable, new homes for sale that use an individual ground based geothermal heat pump system in each house to provide heating, cooling, and hot water. Follow us on twitter @woodland_creek and like us on facebook.com/woodlandcreeksookebc.