Article first appeared in Mother Earth News, January/February 1985. Click here to view article at their website.
By John Hait
Are you pooped out from paying the power people to pump heat into your home all winter, only to pay them again to pump it back out all summer? If so, maybe it’s time to open a special sort of back-to-the-land savings account—one that will let you make energy deposits all summer and withdrawals in the winter. And just where do you put six months of intense seasonal sunshine for safekeeping? To find the answer, you only have to look down, because you’re standing on the bank!
As you know, the earth exchanges heat constantly, soaking it up from the sun all summer and giving it up to the atmosphere in the winter. In most areas, this annual flux doesn’t level off until a depth of about 20 feet is reached—where the year-round temperature hovers near the average annual air temperature. A 20-foot depth of earth, then, can be a mighty big savings account, and it’s dirt cheap. However, to open such an account, you’ve got to figure out how to make deposits and withdrawals, and you ought to find a way to keep the vault secure from robbers. [Read more...]