Geothermal energy is one of the lesser-known types of renewable energy, but a new Alphabet company called Dandelion wants to change that by harnessing the heat underneath your yard to heat and cool your home. For the time being, the service is only available in certain areas of upstate New York. The signup website allows you to check if your home is within the serviceable area by zip code, and boasts immediate savings over your current energy payments thanks to zero down financing for qualified customers. Since the system simply either draws heat into your home from the earth below, or wicks heat from your home down into the earth, there are no service charges to pay, so you're only paying for your installation over time. The payments are touted as being fairly low. Your installation also comes with a smart thermostat.
If your home is within the service area, the process of signing up starts with a chat about your home to assess it for installation with Dandelion's experts. If that checks out, they'll come out to your house and plan the installation. If all goes well, the installation itself should take 2 or 3 days, and is done by contracted professionals. The installation can be done alongside a traditional heating and cooling system based on gas or electricity. Nodes are installed under the floor and in the walls of your home, and are hooked up to pipes that go down into the ground. From there, the system is able to pull heat up from the ground, or push it down into the ground from your home. Thanks to the simple setup, a Dandelion hookup can not only heat and cool your home, but can even be used in place of an electric or gas-powered water heater.
The newest spinoff from Alphabet to become an independent company was born within X, and in its current form, consists of X product manager Kathy Hannun serving as CEO, X technical program manager James Quazi as CTO, and former Conergy exec Katie Ullman in charge of marketing. The operation brings together experience from both inside and outside Alphabet's wheelhouse, including SolarCity and Mosaic. The company is still in its infancy, and there is so far no word on when or if the program may expand.