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Geothermal Homes

Video and story provided by:
Indiana's News Center

Reported by: Nicole Pence -
(Ossian, IN) -- Higher energy costs and skyrocketing gas prices are spurring people to invest in all things "Green". Nicole Pence gives us an inside look at a new housing subdivision in Ossian that is heating homes by mother earth.

Kirby Sink/Bee Creek Development: "We started the whole process off about a year-and-a-half ago and when we starting doing this development we knew we needed some kind of niche."

That niche...Geothermal energy systems. In the first phase of "The Bridges" subdivision in Ossian, 49 homes will be built using the energy-efficient technology. It's the largest housing division of it's kind in northeast Indiana.

Jill Miller/WaterFurnace: "There is no outside unit installed with a WaterFurnace geothermal system. Basically, what we do to pull the heat from the earth is put an outside loop system in the ground. Polyethylene piping is buried in into the ground—just transferring heat from the earth into the home in the winter time and in the summer time pulling the heat out of the home and transferring it back to the earth."

Nicole Pence/Indiana's NewsCenter: "Up front, this unit will cost you about 3-thousand dollars. That's a little more than the average heating and cooling system. But, builders argue, 'in the end you'll save money and you'll help the environment.'"

Josh Barkley/Barkley Builders, INC: "The pay back is two or three years."

Jill Miller/WaterFurnace: "Basically, you are adding fifty more bucks to your mortgage a month to put in a geothermal system into your home, but your operational costs are 75 dollars cheaper per month."

Because home owners are taking advantage of mother earth, the government also gives buyers a property tax credit. Starting costs of one of these homes is about 155-thousand dollars. The official ground-breaking ceremony for "The Bridges" subdivision is Thursday morning at nine.

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