Published Saturday February 22, 2014: Updated April 13, 2014
With all the energy savings gained by installing a ground-loop heat-pump, why don’t more building projects embrace this technology?
Well, that is exactly what Davis county, in Northern Utah is doing. Every new major government building from here going forward will be heated and air conditioned using ground-loop heat-pump technology.
Our younger kids attend Endeavour elementary school. It is a pilot school that in 2011, lead the state in energy efficiency, smart lighting and high computer use in the classroom. I don't know how we lucked out moving into the boundaries of such a wonderful school, but here we are.
Here is a side by said analysis of Endeavour elementary and Eagle Bay elementary, which was built a couple years earlier, 2.5 miles to the south.
|7 portables||6 portables|
|2013 Energy Report||Eagle Bay||Endeavour|
|Total Energy Costs $/sq-ft 2013||$0.82||$0.59|
|School Size sq-ft||79288||74871|
|Total Energy costs $/year (2011)||$65,016||$44,173|
|Total Electric Usage (2013)||523,880||508,530|
|Total Natural Gas Usage d-therms (2013)||1,778||116|
|Total Energy Usage (kWh) 2013||1,044,834||542,518|
|Total Energy Usage (kBTU) 2013||3,564,974||1,851,071|
|CO2 Emissions (tons) 2013||640||530|
|Endeavour's energy cost savings (2011)||$20,842|
|Endeavour's energy savings % 2013||45.01%|
|Endeavour's CO2 reduction (tons) 2013||111|
Each year, Endeavour uses 45% less
energy than Eagle Bay, costs $20,800+ less to operate and pollutes
111 tons less CO2. As the power grid of Northern Utah gets cleaner,
so will Endeavour Elementary school. Meanwhile Eagle Bay (and every other building) will still
directly depend on fossil fuels for heat.
The benefits of energy efficiency and increased comfort go well beyond the initial financial energy savings. With a more efficient and comfortable learning environment, is it no wonder that Endeavour elementary school continues to lead the State of Utah in nearly every academic metric?
KUER radio recently interviewed me as part of a story about geothermal heating and air conditioning. Listen to it here.
Updated January 16, 2014: Another elementary school in Davis county is currently being built. It it going to one-up Endeavour Elementary by being the first net-zero school in Utah. The Future is here.