Upset about last winter’s utility bills?
Who isn’t! The winter of 2013-2014 was wicked.
Wisconsin registered it as one of its top 10 coldest winters. The first two months of 2014 were the second coldest on record in Green Bay.
By mid-March, the daily record lows had led the record highs by about a 2.5-to-1 margin. That was nasty, especially when we had such warm memories of 2011-2012.
Remember back then? There were about five times as many record highs as record lows. January 2012 was the fourth warmest on record for the contiguous U.S.
Sweet, as far as utility bills go!
So, what does all this mean? It means that when the weather gets extremely cold, you are going to spend more to heat your house – even if you have geothermal.
The good thing is that with geothermal, you spend less than what others are paying for comparable units of energy. For each unit of energy a geothermal unit consumes, it provides about four times the amount of energy in heating and cooling power.
Remember the poor folks who had to spend $5, $6, up to $7 a gallon for propane last winter … if they could find it! In a normal winter, the average home in Wisconsin uses about 1,000-1,200 gallons of propane. Imagine their bills!
If you are considering geothermal and have asked someone who has it what their bills were for last winter, they will be higher than in previous winters. But ask them to estimate what they would have paid with their home’s previous non-geothermal system.
For example, owners of an older home with an uninsulated, pipe-freezing kind of crawlspace paid $4,100 in utility bills for last winter – their first as a geothermal customer. That bill included all utility costs so that was not just heat but for all their electric needs. That might seem high.
But if they had kept their old system with the way their home is set up, they would have paid more than $7,000!
Imagine the savings if they would better insulate and tighten up their home!