2,000-Acre Texas Subdivision Has Largest Money-Saving Geothermal Network Ever Built


A $0 electricity bill is good!

There are several aspects to the “green” debate, the one that gets the most attention is usually the environmental aspects, but the other is the potential financial savings that could result for average consumers. However, the argument has always been that to save a few hundred dollars a year, a household must invest tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars in green technologies that could end up being obsolete in a few years.

A new 7,500-home development outside Austin, Texas, called Whisper Valley, wants to change that by building homes that consider bottom-up energy efficiency. Development began with home builders digging holes deep into the earth, about 300 feet, near each plot where a home would be built. Then they connected these holes with pipes to channel the constant internal temperature of the Earth (about 72 to 74) to each house in the network, creating the largest known geothermal network in the world.

Video about Whisper Valley:

Each house then uses a small amount of electricity to pump water around its geothermal borehole to keep the house at a constant internal temperature. According to CNBC coverage (see below) the geothermal system will reduce electricity consumption by 80% compared to a standard HVAC system for a similar building. For some homeowners this could mean huge savings just by moving in, homes won’t be as reliant on the ERCOT network and overall should reduce energy consumption per household in the area. In fact, according to the Whisper Valley website, they think some homes in the development might be “capable of zero energy” a way of saying that the house might be able to generate all the electricity it needs from solar power on certain days due to the reduced energy needs of the geothermal system.

All homes in Whisper Valley are equipped with standard rooftop solar panels to help offset electricity consumption from geothermal units and it is possible to install a home storage battery to store electricity for later use. The homes are about $10,000 more than similar homes in the area, which isn’t much considering the likelihood of months with extremely low electric bills.

The geothermal network was built by EcoSmart Solutions, a company based in Manor, TX. According to the Main Planned Community website, homes in the development start in the low $300,000s and the first phase is already sold out.

No matter which side of the debate you are on, to save money Where save the environment, all of us Texans want to save money on our electric bill and ensure a nice, cool house in the summer. Have the potential to a $0 electricity bill because a nominal increase in the price of the house is quite attractive, especially when combined with a constant internal temperature. You really don’t have to be an environmentalist to see Whisper Valley’s appeal or reap the benefits if it delivers what it claims.

The downside would probably be living in Manor, TX, but it’s only about a 20 minute drive from downtown Austin on Hwy 290 and there’s also a HEB on the way to the area .

Vitals:
Website: https://www.whispervalleyaustin.com/

Map for Whisper Valley:

Thank you all:
This story is partly based on reporting by CNBC’s Diana Olick. His reporting was largely unbiased and did an excellent job of presenting the facts about Whisper Valley and the Texas company building the geothermal network. You can read his article for more details and quotes on CNBC’s website here “Largest Geothermal System Ever in Texas Subdivision Saves Homeowners Big Money”


Featured photo a screenshot of a video on the Whisper Valley Facebook page

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