Jörg zu Dohna

What are the costs of a GEOKOAX geothermal heating system?

18 September 2014 by Jörg zu Dohna

GEOKOAX offers a solution to the investment problem. Lower drilling depths cut back on drilling costs, while higher probe efficiency reduces annual operating costs. Geothermal energy is thus more cost-effective than conventional energy, even in the short run.

Geothermal energy is not only environmentally-friendly and available in large quantities everywhere. For many homeowners and house builders it can also be a competitive alternative to conventional heating systems. The exact costs of a geothermal system, however, depend on many parameters.

Geothermal energy stored inside our planet is a gift from nature. It is not only free of emissions, infinite and available everywhere, but also, like the sun and wind, always free. Yet, harnessing geothermal energy in an economical way comes with expenses for the purchase, installation and operation of the geothermal system for heating your own building.

The total cost of a brine-to-water heat pump includes tapping the underground heat source, the heat pump itself, its installation with additional equipment and electricity costs for operating the heat pump. Conventional geothermal probes require a borehole between 50 meters and 100 meters. Drilling costs for a single-family-house using conventional probes amount to 6.000 or even 12.000 Euros. Drilling costs for a multi-family house with about 1.000 square meters add up to about 35.000 Euros. Due to the superior geometrical and physical features of the GEOKOAX probe, energy supply per borehole is substantially higher. Hence, less boreholes and less meters drilled are necessary for the same amount of energy. This results in a generally higher property efficiency, which means that geothermal systems can be effectively realized even on small properties. GEOKOAX volume probes reduce meters drilled by up to 40 % (!). Accordingly, drilling costs are significantly lower. These savings on drilling costs minimize the investment gap with fossil energy sources (oil/gas). Investment costs under the current energy savings regulations (EnEV 2014 calls for a 25 % reduction in annual primary energy consumption of new buildings after January 1, 2016) for single-family-houses are equal at about 9.500 Euros. The leverage effect of less meters drilled has an exceptionally positive effect for large projects. The potential for cooling a building with GEOKOAX probes allows to dispense with conventional air conditioning once and for all. Depending on the quality and configuration, a GEOKOAX geothermal system comes at no extra costs. However, it is even more likely, that the GEOKOAX volume probe technology will offer a price advantage.

The heat pump itself, including assembly, will cost between 3.500 and 11.000 Euros. The price of a high-tech model can also be 20.000 Euros. The benefit of the higher price is a higher degree of efficiency, which may pay off in the long term.

The price of a geothermal system can vary considerably, as installation costs depend on the individual contractor. The price of connecting materials should be estimated at 500 to 1.500 Euros. The operation of the heat pump only incurs electricity costs, which are determined by the power tariff and the amount of consumption. In addition to the standard meter for domestic electricity usage another power meter is required. Many providers frequently offer discounted tariffs for heat pumps.

Conclusion: The acquisition of a GEOKOAX geothermal system including a heat pump is not more expensive than the purchase of an oil- or gas-fired heating system. Operating costs of a GEOKOAX system, however, are only a fraction of its fossil counterpart (50 to 70 percent). Moreover, no additional costs incur for cooling facilities (air conditioning, cooling tower, etc.), chimney, chimney sweeper or maintenance. House builders should therefore consider resorting to the cost-effective alternative of a heat pump connected to a GEOKOAX probe system.

Geothermal energy costs less than conventional energy.