Like a day at the beach, the productivity of a solar panel can be spoiled by rain. More predictable conditions exist underground; dig several hundred feet down and the earth remains at a consistent 55 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit, depending on the location.
That consistency makes geothermal energy attractive. Here's how it works:
So you've got no oil required and zero emissions. The key obstacle at this point is cost. But technological advances mean that heat pumps are getting cheaper to produce and now Dandelion Energy, an offshoot of Google, has begun offering their Dandelion Air system for unbeatable prices in the New York area.
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A Federal tax credit of $8,774 and a Dandelion discount of $1,500 means that one of their systems can be installed for just under 20 grand. Should customers prefer to finance, they can get the system installed for just $135 a month--with no money down. And Dandelion Air provides both heating in winter and air conditioning in summer. It seems a no-brainer.
To see if you're lucky enough to live within the qualifying area, click here.