Reported by: Tressa Bush
MOUNT JULIET, Tenn. -- In Mount Juliet, a builder is putting geothermal technology to work in all his houses because it helps the environment and the homeowners' pocketbooks.
Residents are finding out that they can save money by using the dirt under their home to heat and cool their home and that the electric company might even pay you for it.
David Donaldson is the builder of these revolutionary houses.
"Hopefully people will see this and realize how much better it is for the environment and how much better it is for the cost savings, and they'll jump on board," said Donaldson.
Each of the 50 homes in Donaldson's subdivision will have this technology, the first such development in the state.
In simple terms, a geothermal system transfers heat from the soil to the house in the winter and from the house to the soil in the summer. The system is all done with underground pipes that are attached to a fan coil unit in the house. James Lasater has installed a number of geothermal units and said homeowners can expect savings from 40 to 70 percent on their utility bills.
"If they are going to be in the house for five to seven years, it will easily pay for itself over a conventional system, and help save the environment," said Lasater.
The local electric company is also rewarding builders and homeowners who meet certain energy efficient criteria with cash. "I'm very excited about it. It's branching out and the interest is really getting out there," said Phillip Price of Middle Tennessee Electric.
The subdivision won't be finished for quite a while, but the buzz about how they'll be heated and cooled is already heating up.