Residents of a south side affordable housing and senior's residential complex could one day see reduced utility bills, as the developer is adding a geothermal heating and electricity system.

Christenson Developments is working on installing the geothermal system in the South Woods rental developments in Hazeldean, while renovating existing townhomes and building a new senior's residence.

The new system uses natural gas to create electricity, and the extra heat it produces is then pumped into the ground to be used in the future.

"We believe we will be able to save the utility charges for these affordable townhomes, and for the senior's apartments, to the magnitude of about 40 per cent when complete," Greg Christenson said.

"Power rates have been historically very high in Alberta, and natural gas prices have been historically very low," Christenson continued. "So that creates a perfect storm for this type of technology."

The developer said the technology isn't new, but the combined use of the two systems in a residential setting is unique.

About half of the units in the senior's residences, and about 30 townhomes will benefit from the technology.

The project is expected to be complete by 2015.