Trial to revolutionise the way homes are heated and cooled

West Australians are now being invited to take part in a world-first home energy technology trial.

At the Vive infill estate on the former Craigie high school site, LandCorp’s Cool Earth housing project will evaluate the effectiveness of a new ground-source heat-pump system that has the potential to significantly reduce household energy costs.

To monitor and test the open-loop geoexchange technology – which uses groundwater and the earth as primary energy sources to heat and cool a home – compared with conventional air-conditioning, two identical houses have been built side-by-side. One has the technology and the other standard reverse-cycle air-conditioning.

LandCorp chief executive officer Frank Marra said a registration of interest process was now open for people keen to learn more about the upcoming sales release of the two houses.

“The system uses the natural environment rather than electricity derived from fossil fuels, to create a more efficient, affordable and environmentally-friendly home heating and cooling option for West Australians. By shaving peak electricity loads it’s estimated the system can potentially reduce yearly heating and cooling bills by as much as half,” he said.

LandCorp is working on the Cool Earth project alongside partners including ABN Group, the University of WA, Carbonomics and GeoExchange Australia.