When Bob and Celine Richer decided to retire to New Hampshire, they knew they would need an energy-efficient home to be able to afford the long heating season. Bob contacted the New Hampshire Sustainable Energy Association for help. The Richers’s home is constructed of insulated concrete form with a geothermal and solar heating system.
Bob: The Sustainable Energy Association provided us guidance and encouragement along the way because there were so many things to choose from.
We have a geothermal heat pump, that takes water from the outside and that water is again heated by our solar system on the roof, a vacuum tube system. That combined heat goes into the geothermal unit. The geothermal unit has a compressor in it, which raises that heat to about 120-degrees and heats the circulating water in the floor to about 109-degrees.
The walls of the home are a foot thick, insulated concrete form, and it looks like a conventional home. The R-rating is R24, which is extremely high and we have warm floors and a toasty home all winter long. My neighbors normally pay between $2,000 and $2,500 a year for their oil. I pay for electricity to run my system about $250 a year.