Popular Mechanics: "“You’re not making heat, you’re moving heat,” Colorado geothermal installer Jim Lynch says. Installations like Lynch’s tap into the earth below the frost line—which always stays around 50 degrees Fahrenheit—to reduce a home’s heating and cooling loads. All HVAC systems require energy-intensive heat movement, a task responsible for over half of the average house’s total energy demand. Geothermal works more efficiently because the system’s mild starting point creates an efficient shortcut to the target temperature. Imagine a 100-degree Florida day or a 0-degree Michigan night: Spot the system 50 degrees, and it doesn’t work so hard to get the house comfortable."
That 50 degrees makes a big difference. That's why lots of people use their basements as an air conditioned zone in the summer time.
We have an awful lot of things we can do to reduce and otherwise streamline out energy usage. We can really reduce the amount of energy we use by doing fairly simple things to our homes.
The oddest thing is the first question people ask is, "What's the payback?"
That is one of those totally insane questions that seems to exist only to stop you from doing something. Like "What about their socialization?" like the most important part of your child's education is their socialization, surrounded by other unsocialized children with just one enlightened teacher in the room, where they have to sit down and be quiet.
A solar power system for your home costs about as much as an SUV and no one ever asks about the payback on that. Hint: there isn't one.
There trouble is that they don;t have a good financing system for these alternative energy systems. It isn't that they can't do it. Look at Town & Country Foods, you can buy food and a freezer on a 6 month payment plan. You would think it would be possible to create a 36 month payment plan for an energy system that is worth incredible amounts when the utilities fail. Some politician may be needed to do this but it isn't very sexy or shovel-ready. Oh, well.