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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

I'll drink to that

From my own backyard comes a story of a package store—a small shop that sells beer, wine and other liquors—that’s green not just on St. Patty’s Day, but year round. The moral of the story? Small-business owners can make big decisions for the good of more than the bottom line.

Much of the [store's] large parking lot is built with blocks that allow rainwater to drain into the ground. A large advanced septic system was installed, lessening the chance that pollutants will make their way underground to the nearby Ninigret Pond.

The building’s siding looks like wood shingles, but actually it’s recycled PVC.

Hot water from the geothermal heat pump is pumped through radiant heat tubes in the floor. They will be covered by wide, white pine planks. The walls and roof are made from insulated panels that are 8 to 10 inches thick.

Much of the lighting is provided by light-emitting diodes that are controlled by touch pads.

Maldon said it has been estimated that it will take five years for energy savings to pay off the cost of the geothermal equipment. After that, it will cost very little for heating and cooling.

“Also, it was just the right thing to do,” he said. “It makes a lot of sense.”
The right thing to do. That’s a phrase that can never be spoken too often. God bless Mr. Maldon for going above and beyond—or, in this case, below and beyond.

The promise of geothermal energy is often given scant attention in the green-energy world. That’s probably because other renewable energy sources, like wind and solar, carry significant visual firepower. Not so with geothermal, the innards of which are underground and inside buildings.

Come to think of it, what was it that Someone once said about not being so visible when doing good? Looks like geothermal may have that virtue going for it—among many others.

And if you’d like a cold beer while you read it all, I know just the place to get one.

1 comment:

  1. I had a very nice man here working on an one of my air conditioner/heat pump wall units. He works with geothermal heating systems...and says it's the most efficient and friendly heating/cooling system. I had no idea one could get heat from COLD air molecules! Sounds like a blog to me. Claire


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