Southern Comfort a leader in Manitoba’s geothermal industry, spearheading innovation, providing education, initiating growth, and promoting the development of geothermal projects in our province. We take pride in the integrity of our business, and strongly believe in the value that geothermal energy brings to Manitoba. Each geothermal project needs to be evaluated by its own merits; not all projects have an attractive payback period. We stand by our expertise in systems design, and are committed to ensuring that homeowners receive honest recommendations regarding the feasibility of their project.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has called ground source heat pumps, “The most energy-efficient, environmentally clean, and cost-effective space conditioning systems available.” (1)
How it works:
Simply put, a geothermal or ground source heat pump is a central heating and/or cooling system that pumps heat into or from the ground. Air is exchanged between the building and the ground via high-density polyethylene pipes. These loops carry a heat-transfer fluid (usually comprised of water and antifreeze), which extracts ground heat and brings it to the surface. Heat is distributed throughout the home via forced air or a hydronic system.
A geothermal heat pump requires three components to provide heating and cooling for your home:
- A ground loop (buried piping or water well system)
- The heat pump furnace unit (in mechanical/utility room of the home)
- A distribution system (forced air ductwork or hydronic hot water space heating)
There are many kind of “Loops” — Horizontal, Vertical, Lake Loops, and Deep-vertical (300-400 feet deep – pioneering technology for Northern communities) — but the type of loop is always determined by the nature of the project and site.
Facts and Benefits
Manitoba has the highest per capita number of geothermal installations in North America
The Province of Manitoba offers a 15% rebate on geothermal systems
The ECO Energy Program gives homeowners $4,375 for retrofitting their homes with a geothermal system. Total combined incentives available are over $9,000 for most homeowners (till March 31, 2012).
The province has recently announced that all projects funded by the provincial government require a geothermal feasibility study to be completed.
In comparison with a conventional electric or natural gas heating system, a geothermal heat pump can cut your annual space heating costs by up to 50% to 70%. Geothermal is highly cost-efficient, paying back its initial cost over time.
To compare the cost of home heating, see Manitoba Hydro’s Typical Home and Water Heating Chart on their website.