Bozzuto Homes recently unveiled its Sage at Maple Lawn community, the first East Coast development that includes geothermal heating and cooling as a standard feature.

Each home in the Fulton, Md., community will come standard with a Bosch SM Model geothermal heat pump that will help homeowners save up to 70% on utility bills over conventional HVAC systems, says Bozzuto. A Bosch tankless water heater will also be standard. The project, which will include 200 to 300 homes at buildout, is now under construction.

The homes will be Energy Star certified, National Green Building Standard Silver certified and have a Home Energy Rating System Index (HERS) score of as low as 21 on a scale of 100 from the Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET), indicating a high-level of energy efficiency. Each home also comes equipped to accommodate solar panels, and homeowners also have the option of adding both vehicle and electric bicycle charging stations from Bosch. 

The energy efficient offerings were driven by consumer demand, says Bosch regional president Vitor Gregorio.

“More and more, we’re seeing builders and consumers demand new homes with energy-efficient solutions, such as geothermal and tankless water heating technologies. These green technologies not only save the homeowner money over the long run, but also reduce the environmental footprint of newly constructed homes,” says Gregorio.

In addition, homeowners purchasing geothermal technology can take advantage of rebates and credits offered by state and federal governments. For example, through Dec. 31, 2016, homeowners who install Energy Star certified geothermal heat pumps are eligible for a 30% federal tax credit and a $3,000 rebate from the state of Maryland.

At Sage at Maple Lawn, Bozzuto’s customers also have the benefit of deferring associated upfront costs through geothermal utility provider Orca Energy. Orca provides the homeowner with the exterior portion of a geothermal heating and cooling system, mitigating the infrastructure costs commonly associated with installing exterior ground loop heat exchangers. Orca then serves as a utility provider, charging the homeowner with a one-time connection fee along with a monthly utility charge, often at greatly reduced rates from traditional HVAC system utility costs. Bosch and ORCA have cooperated in similar energy efficient projects in Richland, Wash., and in the Serenbe community south of Atlanta.