By the Bronxville Green Committee
March 8, 2023: Bronxville’s Village Hall runs on a geothermal heating and cooling system, also called a ground-source heat pump system. The result: cost savings since the system was installed in 2006 and comfortable temperatures all year round.
Geothermal works for large civic buildings and co-op/condo apartment complexes; it also works for single-family homes. It requires digging a well in your yard and is more expensive to install, but it involves no visible outside equipment and provides heating and cooling—and even hot water—in one unified system. It’s also incredibly efficient!
Is Geothermal Right for You? Now’s a Great Time to Find Out!
This winter, Bronxville is partnering with Sustainable Westchester, a nonprofit consortium of local municipalities, to help residents utilize and benefit from clean, renewable energy. This Energy Smart Homes program provides access to information about clean energy technologies and financial incentives, NYSERDA certified contractors, local resident testimonials and one-on-one assistance to help you make your home more energy efficient. Look for previous articles about the program, and how to start with a home energy audit, in My Hometown Bronxville’s Sustainable Living tab.
A geothermal or ground-source system does not create heat through combustion; rather it takes advantage of the constant temperature underground (55 degrees) and extracts heat in the winter to provide warmth and pumps it back underground in the summer to provide coolness. Liquid circulating through a pipe deep down is brought to the surface and run through a heat pump which transfers the heat or coolness to air flowing from vents into your home. This process is powered by electricity, which can be produced from renewable sources like solar, wind, or hydro.
Even though renewable energy accounts for only 12% of the grid today, a heat pump system powered by grid electricity will reduce your greenhouse gas emissions from heating by 30-75%. These emissions will continue to decrease from year to year as our grid becomes greener.
Geothermal is expensive to install but generous new rebates and tax credits can significantly lower the cost, and lower utility bills will ensure the pay-back period is reasonable. See here for a quick overview. Your contractor will explain in detail what energy efficiencies you can expect to realize and how much money you can expect to save over time. A lack of ductwork (or too-small ductwork) might mean that your home isn’t yet eligible for geothermal; the location of sewer, sprinkler, and other obstructions underground can also affect the feasibility of digging a geothermal borehole in your yard. These are considerations you can explore with a contractor—often in a phone call.
To fully understand the financial incentives available for clean heating and cooling technologies, listen here to a recording of “Leveraging Rebates and Incentives for Home Energy Upgrades,” a webinar recently hosted by Sustainable Westchester. Assemblyman Chris Burdick and State Senator Pete Harckham speak about state, utility and Inflation Reduction Act incentives for weatherizing and electrifying your home. Speakers include NYSERDA certified contractors and a representative from ConEd, which offers additional incentives.
Making energy upgrades to your heating and cooling system is not easy! Through the Energy Smart Homes program, we can guide you to resources and help sort through your options. If you’re already installing new clean energy equipment, or scheduling a home energy audit, email us to confirm you’re receiving the maximum rebate benefits and put your name on the Village list of residents working to decrease our environmental footprint.
Learn more about the Energy Smart Homes program on our website and CONTACT US to get started. Comfort, safety, lower costs, and reducing your carbon footprint – great goals for you and for the environment!
The Bronxville Green Committee is a volunteer organization that is part of the Village of Bronxville. We work to propose and implement environmentally sustainable programs in our community. Visit our website and follow us on Instagram @bxvgreencommittee to learn more. Please consider joining our efforts.
The Bronxville Green Committee is a volunteer organization under Village government. We work with the Trustees and Village staff on programs that promote clean energy initiatives and sustainable ways of living. Our programs include The Bronxville Giving Garden, a community garden whose produce is donated to local groups; Take Back Day, when we collect items to be recycled; and Pollinator Pathways, which encourages adding native plants to our gardens. We believe everyone can make a difference by adopting simple, sustainable practices in daily life so we can work together to protect what we love -- our families, our homes and our town.