Many residents and business owners have been looking at how to lower monthly bills. One of the biggest contributing factors to those costs is the utility bill, especially gas and electric. Since gas and electric rates seem to be ever rising costs, people have been trying to offset those costs by installing solar or geothermal power. However, one of the biggest questions that is asked while doing research on these alternative resources is how long it will take to lower monthly utility bills, and what factors contribute to that time.
Here is a very brief explanation about how geothermal power works. Heat from the earth is collected from a series of pipes in the ground. A heat pump is then used to push coolant through a heat exchanger that moves it to a heat coil. A fan is used to blow air on the heat coils and into the homes or businesses air duct system. During the summer months, the process is reversed, and the homes warm air is pushed back into the ground.
Seeing how the system works, someone can quickly realize all the pipe work and digging that has to be done to install geothermal power. It stands to reason that these systems are most easily done on new construction or during a remodel. However, it can be done on an existing dwelling as well. When someone starts looking at the cost of replacing their old HVAC system, they soon realize that going the geothermal route would not be that much more money. In addition, they would actually realize a savings by having lower monthly bills.
The time it takes to recover the installation cost on geothermal power has to take into account several factors. One of those is how energy-efficient the home is overall. If the home is equipped with excellent insulation, energy-efficient windows and doors, geographic location of the home, how many square feet is being heated and cooled by the system, and there are no cracks that outside air can infiltrate the home through, the savings can be realized very quickly. Some customers have realized lower monthly bills in just three years. The return can take up to ten years if the home is not efficient in other ways as well.
Since solar power has been around for many years now, most people understand how it works, but we will review that type of system as well. In very simple terms, panels are installed on the premises to collects the sun’s rays and stores it in batteries. It is then converted to usable electricity is used by the homeowner or business when needed. The power can be directly drawn from the panels or from the batteries. This installation is done on the exterior of the building, and the efficiency can be affected by several factors. Some of those factors would be the grade of the panel itself, any obstructions, how much power is actually collected, and how much energy the homeowner uses daily. Some other key factors are what the solar energy is powering, the size of the installation, and how energy-efficient the home is.
Based on all of these factors in regards to solar power, many customers have realized lower monthly bills within 5 years. Since this is really an individually based energy concept, the average return on investment is from five to ten years.