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Let the Sun Shine In

Going green at home pays for itself. Here’s how.

(page 4 of 4)

On average, the cost to outfit a 3,000-square-foot home with a geothermal system runs about $30,000. With government incentives, the price tag would be about $18,000.

“We can now come in with prices that are slightly less than a conventional heating and cooling systems,” Gaul says. “When you factor in the energy savings and the comfort level, it’s a no brainer.”

Expect the system to pare the costs of heating and cooling by 40 percent to 45 percent. At that rate, it will pay for itself in six or seven years.

The average lifespan of a geothermal system is 25 years, though A&A is servicing systems that are 29 years old.

So who is warming up to solar and geothermal energy? Essentially, it comes down to tree huggers and those who hold tight to their wallets. Many, like Fausnaught, are environmentally aware homeowners who have meticulously researched alternative sources of energy.

“Our demographic varies a lot,” says groSolar’s Gillen. “We have people who are really sick of high electric bills. Others are concerned about global warming.”

Weaver says he has received a great deal of interest from eco-friendly, middle-age homeowners who are interested in saving money over the long haul.

In the end, the bottom line is the homeowners’ desire to take care of their families and the planet.

“Every person who winds up doing it has a bit of the environmental activist in them,” Sergich says. “It’s a decision that makes people feel good even before they get their electric bill.”

Why it Pays to Go Green

  • The federal government offers a 30 percent tax credit on the cost of installing environmentally friendly energy systems. State of Delaware incentives average another 30 percent.
  • Additional incentives vary according to state, locality and energy provider. The Delaware Electric Cooperative offers a 33-percent incentive. The city of Milford offers 50 percent.
  • To learn more, go to www.delaware-energy.com/green-energy-program-home.htm, www.energy.gov or www.dsireusa.org.


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