Do you know the difference between "geothermal energy" and a "ground source heat pump"? All I know is they both run into the ground. But as this article from Green Building Elements explains how together they can more efficiently heat and cool your home at a dramatically reduced price.
Simply stated, a geothermal energy system uses heat from below the surface of the Earth as an energy source (think: tapping into a geyser or a volcano for power).
A "ground source heat pump," also known as a "geoexchange system," uses the ground's stable year-round temperature to more efficiently heat or cool your home. How it does this is best explained by this video. Interested? Do a search on this site to find qualified geoexchange contractors in your area.
It's great you posted this item: ground source heat pumps and in some regions air source heat pumps make great energy AND environmental sense for most property owners, including residential retrofitters.
Just a note to let you and everyone know that if you're reading this in Canada or interested in learning more, another resource is the national industry association for Canada, at www.geoexchange.ca. We have a national quality program (no such program exists in the US) based on a a national design / install standard (only appliance standards exist in the US), and our industry is growing at over 45% annually. We list our qualified professionals and have a much more stringent set of requirements than anywhere else in North America (and we do have a few Accredited professionals in the US.) Our website has been called 'the best single resource available on this technology' by our national network, CBC, and is intended to help consumers figure out how to go about choosing and whom to choose.
Keep up the great work!
VP, Canadian GeoExchange Coalition
(and a fellow returned Peace Corps volunteer) www.geoexchange.ca