Quote Originally Posted by SkyHeating View Post
Im sorry but Geothermal is NOT a place to shop for a lowest quote, its for the best install. I know a few contractors in my area that are thousands less than me, so where do they save? First they don't use the correct fittings for the desuperheater plumbing, second, they use lower cost units that have half the warranty and half the track record and a lower efficiency than what I use. Next they design a loop that is way to small, this saves them on excavation costs and pipe/labor costs. A short loop is the worst case scenario because it will cost so much more to fix it than to just do it right in the first place. A short loop will not let the unit reach rated efficiency, it will cost more to operate, run in backup heat more and possible not cool the house.

Choose installer first,
brand second
price last

I always use the racecar example for quality. You can hire a professional race car driver to run his race car around the track and he will be fast and safe, or you can hire some Joe off the street and even with the same car and same safety systems he would probably crash the race car and cost more money than if you just hired the right person in the first place.
This sort of attitude bothers me. I'm not trying to run a race team. I am trying to save on energy costs. And the biggest downside to geothermal is the very high installation cost. This is compounded by the uncertainty of the outcome and my confidence is further diminished when I meet contractors who seem to want to price the installation based on how much money it will save me over ten years rather than how much it would cost to install with a reasonable mark-up.

It reminds me of a time 5 years ago when building contractors would try to price their jobs based on the effect of the project on your home value rather than how much it costs.

The savings just aren't big enough (considering the cost of installation) to justify this sort of headache unless you just want to be able to tell your friends you use a geothermal heat pump. I mean seriously, it takes at least 7-10 years to get back your money and that assumes zero time value of money. You get on a payment plan and you might not break even for 15+ years.

You really need something closer to 3-5 year payback to really get people on the bandwagon. Maybe the technology isn't there yet, maybe the industry is price skimming because there simply isn't enough demand to aggressively chase business, probably both. I don't think this technology or industry is mature enough to really attract a broader audience.