Victorian first to deliver $150,000 in energy savings

AGL Energy Limited (AGL) will assist Maroondah Sports Club to save hundreds of thousands of dollars on its energy bills over the next decade by commencing work today to install Victoria’s first GeoAir geothermal cooling and heating system. 

Utlising the earth’s constant temperature, the new GeoAir geothermal system provides a renewable source of energy that will save the club up to $12,000 in the first year and up to $150,000 over the next ten years. 

Maroondah Sport’s Club Manager, Julian Cosimo, said the club has been looking for a way to reduce energy costs and recognised the benefits of GeoAir geothermal technology. 

“We are delighted to be installing Victoria’s first GeoAir geothermal system, allowing us to start benefiting from the savings before winter really sets in. It will reduce the club’s heating and cooling costs by 60 percent and as an added bonus the system will also provide hot water for the club. We look forward to redirecting the savings to support the club.”

While GeoAir geothermal heating and cooling systems incur higher upfront costs than other options, the savings are significant. 

“While it’s an investment to install a new heating and cooling system, the payback of two to three years is relatively fast given that it will help the club to keep it’s energy costs under control,” said Mr Cosimo.

This emerging technology works by using the earth’s constant temperature to heat and cool underground pipes.  A pump sends refrigerant underground through copper lines in a small well about 40 metres deep. During the journey the refrigerant assumes the same temperature of the surrounding earth: much  cooler than the air in summer, much warmer in winter. When the refrigerant returns to the surface, most of the cooling or heating has already taken place.

The system uses the ground loops as a condenser, removing the need for external air conditioning equipment. It has the highest known efficiencies of any air-conditioning system1

In general, geothermal energy is produced by either extracting hot water that is circulated between sub-surface rocks, or by pumping cold water into the hot rocks and returning it to the surface. In each case, the heated water is used to drive turbines to produce electricity. 

One of the key advantages of geothermal energy is its low environmental impact. With energy derived from converting heat extracted from the earth, emissions are low to none and unlike burning fossil fuels, no CO2 is released into the earth’s atmosphere. 

It also does not create any noise pollution, excess waste or by-products, and only a small environmental footprint is left behind. 

AGL's General Manager, Marketing and Retail Sales, Mark Brownfield, said the Maroondah Sports Club is an excellent example of savings that can be made from utilising new technology, like geothermal.” 

“The market is always demanding more efficient products and ways to cut operating costs and this system does both. It can achieve 60 percent efficiency over traditional air sourced aircondition systems.

“The GeoAir geothermal heating and cooling system will be available exclusively through AGL in Victoria and we hope to extend our commercial product to the residential market in the near future. Customers interested in finding out more can visit our Appliances and Tradespeople website or call us on 131 766,” said Mr Brownfield. 

About AGL

AGL is one of Australia's leading integrated renewable energy companies and is taking action toward creating a sustainable energy future for our investors, communities and customers. Drawing on 175 years of experience, AGL operates retail and merchant energy businesses, power generation assets and an upstream gas portfolio. AGL has one of Australia's largest retail energy and dual fuel customer bases. AGL has a diverse power generation portfolio including base, peaking and intermediate generation plants, spread across traditional thermal generation as well as renewable sources including hydro, wind, landfill gas and biomass. AGL is Australia's largest private owner and operator of renewable energy assets and is looking to further expand this position by exploring a suite of low emission and renewable energy generation development opportunities.

 

QPS Geothermal Report, Ground Source Heat Exchanger (GSHE) Coefficient of Performance (COP) Report – Interim Report, August 2013