NextEnergy Inc.

NextEnergy Inc.

May 12, 2008 16:56 ET

Home fuel costs taking bigger bite out of food budgets

Attention: Business/Financial Editor, Environment Editor, Energy Editor, Home/Garden Editor, News Editor ELMIRA, ONTARIO, MEDIA RELEASE--(Marketwire - May 12, 2008) - The past winter hit homeowners hard. Across the province the story was the same: cold, harsh, expensive. Skyrocketing fuel prices added to the hardship.

In communities across Ontario, where many people heat their homes with oil or propane, the story repeats itself. Whether you live in Listowel, Lindsay or New Liskeard, fuel costs are taking a big bite out of family budgets, forcing many to make a tough choice between fuel and food.

According to Natural Resources Canada, the nation's average furnace oil price went from 85.2 cents/litre in October 2007 to $1.22/litre in April 2008, an increase of 42% in just eight months. An average oil tank, at roughly 900 litres, is now costing well over $1000 per fill-up. After five or six refills, the bills are straining life at home.

Statistics Canada reports that 981,000 households in Ontario and Quebec consume oil to heat their homes. For these households, a $5,000 annual home energy cost - once thought to be improbable - is now commonplace.

Is there a solution?

In increasing numbers, homeowners are turning to geothermal as a clean, renewable and efficient source of energy, an easy-to-access source of heat in the winter.

Geothermal for the home starts with pipes installed underground at a depth of roughly six feet, where the ground temperature is a relatively constant 10 -15°C. In winter, these pipes (also called "loops") absorb heat from the ground and send it to a geothermal heat exchanger located inside the home. This unit boosts the heat value quickly and efficiently for conduction transfer to air or water, depending on the home's existing distribution system.

An unexpected advantage of geothermal for the home: it becomes a cooling system in the summer.

Most important, geothermal is energy efficient and cost effective. After conversion, homes with oil or propane systems experience decreases of approximately 70% in annual heating and cooling costs.

The federal and provincial governments recognize and promote these benefits and encourage homeowners to switch to geothermal by offering substantial rebates for installation.

Geothermal retrofit rebates are now being offered by the federal government's "ecoEnergy" program, with many provincial governments adding to the total subsidy. In Ontario and Saskatchewan, the subsidy can exceed $7,000, greatly offsetting the cost of installation, creating quick paybacks for those switching to geothermal systems.

With this kind of savings and rebates available to homeowners, the uncomfortable prospect of sacrificing "food for fuel" has an answer and soon should be an issue of the past.

For more information on government grants for home geothermal installations, visit the ecoEnergy site at www.ecoaction.gc.ca/ecoenergy.

You may want to look into working with established Canadian companies. NextEnergy Inc., of Elmira, Ontario, is the national industry leader. With over 300 dealers, they are the largest supplier of residential geothermal systems in Canada. For more information, visit their website at www.nextenergy.ca.

The recognized geothermal authority in Canada is the Canadian GeoExchange Coalition, located in Montreal. Visit their site at www.geo-exchange.ca.
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/ IN: ECONOMY, ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT, TECHNOLOGY

Contact Information

  • Randal Palach, President, NextEnergy Geothermal
    Primary Phone: 519-669-2707
    Toll-Free: 800-367-9810
    E-mail: rpalach@nextenergy.ca