Geothermal Costs

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by Bluecuda, Feb 23, 2009.

  1. sunnyflies

    sunnyflies Member Forum Leader

    Three 300' wells $18 - $20,000 :(

    Yup. I was right on the money. The off the cuff quote is about $20 per foot, so $18 - $20,000 for three 300' wells 20' apart, plus the horizontal piping to bring it into the house and connect it. I should be getting a complete proposal in a day or two.

    And, as cs6000 said, I got the "there's a tax credit now" pep talk.

    Wade: Congratulations on pioneering your new system! How is it working? Are you pleased with it? Would you do it again?
  2. CRE10

    CRE10 Member

    That's a lot of money and you can find better deals but nothing in this world is cheap. How much is savings worth to you? How long will you live there? I was in a house the other day with $575 bills for an air source heat pump. They are really wishing they would have gone geo now and had spent some extra money tightening up their house from the get go. The initial start up for geo scared them off but now they are regretting it.
  3. sunnyflies

    sunnyflies Member Forum Leader


    We plan to be here forever which is why I am looking at Geo. I fully understand it is more costly, as this is not the first time I have looked into doing it. But, there is a difference between paying a fair price for something and being robbed.

    It is frustrating and annoying to read repeatedly that others in places as far apart as upstate NY, Ohio and Pa are able to put in exactly the tonnage, grade and brand name units, including a DSH, fancy thermostats and a complete closed three loop system, that I would like, but at prices ranging from $18,000 to $28,000 for everything, completed.

    I have proposals for the geo unit alone, simply connected to my existing ducts, for $20,000 - no DSH, no electric hook up, no plumbing hook up, no closed loops and just a basic vanilla thermostat. If that isn't gouging, I do not know what is. And, it's sickening. I believe I have a right to be : :mad:
  4. Mark Custis

    Mark Custis Not soon. Industry Professional Forum Leader

    I do not know

    if it is gouging or not. That how we ended up in Connecticut last winter.

    How big is your yard?
  5. sunnyflies

    sunnyflies Member Forum Leader

    Six acres, we are a small farm.

    Knowing the cost of vertical in my area and open loop, I am now going to track down the cost of horizontal. So far nobody I have spoken to in HVAC or drilling has done one or knows anyone who has either. I think I will start by contacting an excavator I know to see if he has heard about any.

    Even if I can find a way of doing loops for less it still won't help the fact that installers want more for the base unit than others are charging for the same unit and complete system elsewhere.

    I am pretty sure who I am going to have do the installation. He's been doing geo successfully for more than ten years and has a sterling reputation. He's just never done a closed loop system and, like the other installer I like, is at a loss about what I need with a closed loop. Both want me to get my own well, whether I go with open or closed loop. We'll get there, albeit slowly and painfully.
  6. Mark Custis

    Mark Custis Not soon. Industry Professional Forum Leader

  7. urthbuoy

    urthbuoy Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    Get a designer

    Up here (Canada) I design for other installers (across the province and beyond). I'm sure you or your installer can track down the equivalent in your area. Should even be somebody on this board that can design a system for you (for a fee). That would take the design worries away. If your installer has done vertical he has all the skills necessary to lay out a horizontal field - he just doesn't know what to put in. Get the designer to figure it out for him.

    Actually, maybe he hasn't fused pipe nor has a purge cart? Check this out.
  8. wade

    wade New Member

    50k Geo Thermal

    "Wade: Congratulations on pioneering your new system! How is it working? Are you pleased with it? Would you do it again"

    The pain of the 50k is too new for me to say if I would do it again. The systems are working well with the exception of being way oversized. I was told that geo would allow me to downsize my units but no one could tell me how much. I installed "low e" windows and doors again allowing me to downsize but how much. I also utilized Icynen open cell foam insulation. Again i was told that I could downsize my units but no one could tell me just exactly how much.

    Two weeks ago we had temps in the teens for several days. I kept the basement at 70 the mid floor at 74 and top floor at 72. I have all aux. heat turned off, only running geos. I would expect my units to run most all the time under these conditions. I had a difficult time getting temp readings because the units would barely run long enough to cycle the water fully through the loops before kicking off.

    Spend your money on your loops vs size of units in my opinion. My horizontal wells work great. If you have the space, horizontal loops seem to be more cost effective in my region. Dirct bury cost a few dollars per foot and directional horizontal bores cost 3 to 5 dollars per foot not including materials.
  9. CRE10

    CRE10 Member

    If you have that much land and it isn't rocky why even consider vertical? Horizontal will be much cheaper. Hire Mark and get it done right! He could use a little vacation and change of scenery ;)
  10. Mark Custis

    Mark Custis Not soon. Industry Professional Forum Leader


    Thanks for noticing. She may want to stimulate the LI economy.

    This is getting to be a very good forme, but you can lead a horse to water to water geo with radiant and not get it to drink. It will be warm and comfy though thirsty.

    Thanks for your reply and confidence.
  11. CRE10

    CRE10 Member

    You're welcome Mark. Seems like you know your stuff and still have a willingness to learn. Lots of guys just throw stuff in without the know how or willing to learn how with no regard to caring what's best for the homeowner and their house. Not saying dealers should do things dirt cheap and barely make a buck but they should do what is right for the homeowner but also being compensated well for their knowledge, physical labor, and time. Fusing in a trench with a chance of collapse, coiling slinkies, interior piping, juggling 600 pound units down stairs, duct work, etc. is not an easy task. The economies of scale are crazy how much they vary throughout the different regions of the US. It all depends on the local economy, amount of dealers, and history of geo in that area for the price. I know some areas with lots of competition that will do outside work for around $800 a ton including excavation for horizontal. Then there are areas where it runs up very expensive. The same goes with vertical. A lot of guys in Oklahoma can get vertical done very cheap bc of the amount of drilling rigs in the proximity.
  12. Bluecuda

    Bluecuda New Member

    Geo in Cinci

    Since I first started looking at geothermal up until today, I've had 4 different companies out to give me quotes, ranging in price from $32k to 52K so far. All want to drill, even though I have 5 acres of land. I'm just about certain that the bulk of the markup on the quotes I've gotten is from this part of the bid.

    So, I'm in the process of sending them all back to quote horizontal instead of vertical. With the amount of land that we have, I'm surprised that one of them didn't come back with horizontal, blow the other guys out of the water and we'd probably already have it installed!!
  13. Mark Custis

    Mark Custis Not soon. Industry Professional Forum Leader


    There is a lot more involved with creating a successful system than drilling holes. This stuff costs more than conventional systems.
  14. CRE10

    CRE10 Member

    Sometimes you have to spend some money to save some money. ROI...return on investment...
  15. brandoree

    brandoree Member

    sorry for the delay in responding -was out of town

    my 3 holes were 150 feet deep
    I believe the soil around here is mostly clay with some sand also.
    the stuff coming out during the drilling process looked gray\
    all 3 holes were done within an 8 hour shift because he was drilling the first one around 11Am and when I came back later around 5PM - he was leaving
    it was a a one-man job

  16. Mark Custis

    Mark Custis Not soon. Industry Professional Forum Leader

    The numbers do not matter

    What this is all about is being comfortable in your cave.

    Not hot, not cold, comfortable. RH is just right and it feels good to be naked in the conditioned space.

    You can add clothes if you wish, I design for naked temps.

    Costs, that is a new idea.

    I go with comfort, then I teach my costomers the trade offs between comfort and cost. I had a customer switch from stone counter tops to cast concrete to "afford" a comfort system.

    I think of using infrared overhead tubes in a McMansion? Maybe.

    I think beyond just geo, once the solar DWH system is in and providing 75% of the home's needs the fuel is free.
  17. Bluecuda

    Bluecuda New Member

    It all matters

    I would respectfully disagree with Mark on this one. Cost does matter. Comfort matters. Efficiency matters. It all matters to me. I want to feel like I have a system that's going to work efficiently, keep my home and more importantly family comfortable and warm in the winter, and I don't want to spend $50k to do it. When I see bids $20k apart in price for the exact same setup, it leads me to believe that there is a LOT of slop in some of these bids.

    I know from reading this forum that the geo equipment costs more than conventional equipment. I am learning about the loop setups, depths you guys drill, how the tubes are installed and grouted, flushed, pressure tested, ect... This goes way beyond what I'm willing to attempt on my own, which is why I joined this forum and am doing my best to research geothermal to the best of my ability. I will have geothermal, along with a more energy efficient house, it's just a matter of time and money :)
  18. Waukman

    Waukman Member

    But you have to put a importance value on each of the items: install costs, running costs, comfort, efficiency, going green, personal preference, etc. You say you "... don't want to spend $50k to do it." so that would seem to show that for you the install costs maybe more important the running costs (pay now vs pay latter). So that would tend to remove Geo from the options since it will have higher install costs then conventional fuels.

    When I was doing my homework it was clear the cost to install Geo was way higher then a gas furnace. But based on my calculations my running costs would be higher over a 20 year period on gas then on Geo. For me the install cost was not as important compared to running costs. Also I wanted Geo (personal preference was high) and about the only reason I wasn't installing Geo was if I was unable to find a place for the loops.
  19. Mark Custis

    Mark Custis Not soon. Industry Professional Forum Leader


    I do not think you and I disagree, I think I was not clear in making my point that these systems cost more. You, too are after comfort, since I get the check and you write the check, your opinion holds the most weight.
  20. Bluecuda

    Bluecuda New Member

    I agree

    I agree that there is a percieved value with these systems. I would be willing to pay more for the peace of mind with the installing contractor. I didn't mean to imply that the lowest bid was the only consideration.

    The original intent of this thread was that there seems to be a lot of difference in the bids that I'm receiving, and figuring out this mess is trying at best. When there is a large difference in bids, all other things being more or less equal... My question is "Where is the value in going with the higher bid?" Am I buying the reputation and experience of the company? I might be able to accept that. Am I buying the peace of mind knowing that I'll get service down the road? I could buy that too.

    I appreciate you guys taking the time to indulge me and respond back to my neurosis.

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