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Advantages of geothermal energy

Geothermal or ground source energy is an inexhaustible source of energy, it is: sustainable, environmentally responsible, reliable, will reduce CO2 emissions, is fine to combine with solar panels, extremely comfortable and much more beneficial in the long term.

With geothermal energy:

– you can heat in the winter,
– You can cool in the summer,
– save 40-60% on your energy costs,
– less dependent on energy suppliers  
– adds value to your property.

In short: geothermal energy is a good investment for the future!

The workings of a geothermal heat system

Heating your home with geothermal energy, how does that work? Actually very simple, just a drill in the Earth and pump the heat or cold up with a ground source heat pump. And unlike oil and gas, geothermal energy never runs out!


In the summer you put the heat out of your house (= cooling) in the ground and in the winter you use again it to heat your house. And in the winter, you put the cold out of your house (= heating) back into the ground and in the summer you can re-use it with the same geothermal heat system for the summer cooling.

To heat a house with a geothermal heat system, you will save about 50% on your paid energy (electricity for the pump) and for cooling almost 90%! Your energy saving will be about 40-60% on average per year.

Parts of a geothermal heat system

A geothermal energy system consists of 2 main parts:
1. a ground source heat pump 
2. a closed source system with soil drilling and pipes

A ground heat pump can be the same as a central heating boiler and air conditioning combined, but can both heat and cool. It is however much more efficient. A heat pump has a heating output of 400-500% and a cooling output of approximately 900% (with a central heating boiler that is about 100% and with at an air conditioner about 300%).

A closed source system consists of one or more deep drillings from 70 to in some occasions even 200 meters deep. The larger the heat pump, the more holes are needed. There will be 2 plastic (HDPE) pipes per drilling that are all connected with each other and with the geothermal heat pump. A liquid flows through the pipes with which the heat (or cold) can be extracted from the ground. The liquid is not in contact with the ground. Therefore, it is a closed source system.

Savings with a geothermal heat system 


If you put 1 kWh of power in a heat pump, you’ll get about 15 to 20 kWh of cooling power in return. With an air conditioner that is only 3 to 4kWh, so with a heat pump you use about but a quarter of the energy that an air conditioner needs. For an average home with a volume of approximately 500 m3, you can save £350 a year.


The saving on your heating costs is the slightly harder to explain if compared to cooling because a heat pump runs on electricity and a central heating boiler on gas. You first need to comapere the energy a gas boiler supplies to the energy that a heat pump delivers. With 1m 3 of gas you can get about 8kWh with boiler. A heat pump can turn 1kWk of electricity into 4½  kWH of heat.
A property of 500 m3 (190 m2) will use approximately 2,500 m3 of gas with a gas boiler for both heating and hot water. This costs (including subscriptions) approximately £2,145.0 per year (jan 2016).
With a heat pump, with a COP of 4½ (yield 450%), the useage for the same house is only about 5,800 kWh per year. This will cost you (jan 2016) approximately £800 per year. So you save £1,345 (or 60%) per year on your heating costs!

In combination with underfloor heating this figure will increase even more.

Life span

A ground source heat pump system last much longer than a central heating boiler and air conditioning unit, but are a bit more expensive. A heat pump lasts about 20 years and the source system at least over 50 years. With both for the source system as well as with the heat pump you can expect to see this investment repaid when selling the property. In the meantime you will benefit all this time from 40-60% lower energy costs.

Considerations for a geothermal system

A geothermal energy system will save the most if you heat with low temperature conditions (approximately 35 degrees instead of 70 degrees). With these relatively low temperatures you can heat the home or the building if it is well insulated and without cracks. If this is not the case a geothermal energy system makes little sense unless combined with underfloor heating Edinburgh.

Also, you need to take into account where to puy the heat pump as it is larger than a boiler. A heat pump is about as big as a refrigerator and can weigh between 100 and 250kg.

Also your electricity connection must be sufficient. A heat pump normally works only on 400V.
Because the heat pump works only on electricity, you may want to consider getting no gas connection at all. 
Finally, you need enough available space for the drilling or ground to lay the pipes in.

Government grants

The UK government stimulates the use of renewable energy The scheme provides households and non domestic consumers, including public bodies and charities, with financial incentives. The system called Renewable Heat Incentive is designed to help bridge the gap between the cost of renewable heating systems and those of conventional alternatives. People who join the scheme and can receive quarterly payments for the amount of green green energy their system produces.

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