Small scale systems like home geothermal are divine.

In our 1900 cottage, my wife and I rely on an old oil burner for heat; however, we will at some point in the near future need to tackle replacing that system.  Certainly I don’t like consuming all of that oil.  Frankly, the system is just not efficient enough.  One solution that is not always considered is geothermal.  Newport Geothermal, a Rhode Island company that installs geothermal heating systems, is described in this piece on ecoRI.  The attractive nature of this system is that it operates at greater than 100% efficiency, and it is reversable.  In the winter, you can pump heat into your home, and in the summer, you can pump it out.  Additionally, the system reduces more carbon, and saves more money, by preheating the hot water for the electric heater.  These are the kinds of small scale solutions that we will all have to turn to as oil becomes more and more espensive.  The system will require an investment, but that investment will pay plenty of dividends in the long run.