Going geothermal – The costs

When you’re undertaking a large renovation project, such as installing a geothermal system, you of course want to know how much it’s going to cost.

Most people want this information as early in the process as possible and so they spend time typing “how much does geothermal cost” into search engines and talking with contractors, trying to figure out what the final bill will be.

Often, it’s really difficult to find this information. Many people are uncomfortable talking finances and don’t necessarily want to share how much they pay for things. Contractors don’t want to put a number on projects until they’re able to work up a quote that’s accurate for your particular situation.

Beginning with my very first phone calls with the five geothermal contractors, I very casually asked for ballpark numbers. I found I had better success if I phrased the question gently. My approach usually sounds something like, “So what am I looking at here in terms of costs? I’ve heard it’ll be between $20,000 and $30,000.”

And for reference $20,000-$30,000 is the range we worked with in all of our early figuring for our geothermal, and we tend to always go on the high end–start with the worst case scenario and hopefully you’ll be pleasantly surprised. All of the contractors I spoke with confirmed we were likely looking in that range.

In the end, Waterloo Energy Products’ estimate for our geothermal system came in at $25,558.34.

For this we got

  • a full heat loss calculation on our house
  • all of the paperwork required for the system and for our certification submission to the Canadian GeoExchange Coalition
  • 5 tonne ClimateMaster heat pump
  • 6 tonne horizontal loop (including excavation)
  • horizontal boring from the loop field into the house
  • desuperheater for our hot water, plus two 40 gallon hot water tanks
  • 10kw electric back-up heater
  • a new programmable thermostat
  • all of the required electric, plumbing and duct work to connect it all

A big factor for us when it came to the costs for our geothermal system was also the Government of Canada ecoEnergy program. This program (which has now ended) provides a rebate of $4,375 for installation of a ground source earth-energy system (aka geothermal).

Sometimes when you’re doing a renovation, there ends up being a difference between the price you’re quoted at the beginning of the project and the price you end up paying when all of the work is done. This did not happen for us with our geothermal system. The price that Waterloo Energy Products originally quoted us was the price we paid.

So, all in, taxes, certifications, rebates, our geothermal system cost $20,883.34.

Only one more post left in our “Going Geothermal” series. Coming up next week, the verdict on our system, our contractor and geothermal itself.

For previous posts in the Going Geothermal , click on one of the links below:

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