Most of our lives happen above ground. While we may have basements in our home, we otherwise typically ignore the potential of the earth beneath us. Underneath our houses lies a potential route for electricity, accessible clean water, and an efficient heating system. 

It's Electric

It's the worst when a bad storm hits, and the trees crash down on power lines. As the lights flicker off and the clocks are going to need resetting, we wonder why they aren't buried underground. Interestingly enough, underground power lines make up 18% of US transmission lines. 

If the line's vulnerability to the elements causes all the trouble, underground systems would be much more reliable. Buried electrical conduits are typically high-density plastic, metal, or fired clay piping that holds and protects a series of subterranean powerlines. 

These conduits are ideally non-conductive, crush-resistant, and rot and rodent proof. While these systems can be up to 10 times more expensive, they do make sense for regions that experience a lot of damage caused by natural disasters. 

Well Water

A home away from the big city is lovely, especially when you can sit on your porch without seeing another human. Many homes that are not located in a municipality or a town have well water. These are common in homes in rural areas.

Rural homes with private wells have water that looks tastes and smells different from city water. That's because well water comes directly from the ground. To install this system, a well driller would have bored down to a permeable rock containing water, also known as an aquifer. 

A pump will carry the water up into your home. The water is untreated but comes straight from the ground. As the water dissolves organic matter, including minerals, the well water in your home may be hard. If it is, you could consider installing a softening system. 

The quality of water is always changing, especially in this era of chemical driven monoculture. You must test the quality of well water once a year as recommended by the Environmental Protection Agency,

If you are a homeowner with a private water source, you should consider learning about the water issues in the area. There may be contamination due to agricultural runoff or industrial activity. Speak to your neighbors or a homeowners association. 

Ground Source Heat Pumps

Some homebuyers are converting to a more energy-efficient heat source. Ground source heat pumps are an interesting system.  Pipe loops circulate antifreeze and water. The heat from the ground is then absorbed into the fluid, and then it passes through a heat exchanger. The components of this system will be located in your garden.

These systems use pipes that are buried underground. The warm air passes through  heat radiators or the underfloor. They can also heat the water inside your home. The heat pump can be utilized throughout the year, even in the colder months, because the ground stays at a reasonably constant temperature. 

Typically the longer the loop, the more heat is pulled from the ground. The only negative aspect is that it takes up more space in the yard. If the space in your property is limited, a vertical hole can be drilled.

There is minimal maintenance required once these are installed. Unlike gas and oil boilers, heat pumps deliver warmth at lower temperatures for more extended periods. 

This type of heating system can lower your fuel bills, especially if it is replacing conventional electrical heating. Depending on where you live, the government may also provide monetary incentives for your energy efficiency. 


Underground home systems can be more energy-efficient, reliable, and accessible. For those who consider being self-sufficient, it would be a good idea to conduct more research into these potential utilities. If you are looking to construct a home, it is a good idea to take a look into all the options.