Incentives for Geothermal Systems

An exciting new tax credit is now available for home and commercial building owners who install geothermal heating and cooling systems through the Energy Improvement and Extension Act of 2008 (H.R. 1424). H.R. 1424 offers a onetime tax credit of 30% of the total investment for homeowners who install residential ground loop geothermal heat pumps. A credit of 10% of the total investment is also available (no maximum) for a commercial system installation.

To qualify, the systems must meet or exceed EnergyStar requirements and be installed after December 31, 2007. While units installed in 2008 are subject to a $2,000 cap on the credit, units installed from 2009 through 2016 can take advantage of the full credit. Owners can file for the credit by completing the Renewable Energy Credits subsection on their tax return forms for 2008. For taxpayers that are subject to the Alternative Minimum Tax, they can claim the credit on their taxes for the following year. No proof of purchase will be required; however, in case of an audit, owners are encouraged to keep a detailed invoice of their purchase on file. The contractor who sold and installed the product should list the purchase as a "Geothermal Heat Pump" on the invoice and that it "Exceeds requirements of Energy Star program currently in effect".

The tax credit is available through December 31, 2016. Consult your local tax professional for advice on taking advantage of the tax credit.

Colorado Tax Incentives

Check with you local utility company as they may offer rebates for installing a geothermal system.

United Power offers $2500 per heat pump and $150 per ton

Poudre Valley Rural Electric Association offers $400 per ton

Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency provides financial incentives by state.

Breakdown of Home Energy Consumption

Before Geothermal

Breakdown of Home Energy Consumption - Before Geothermal

After Geothermal

Breakdown of Home Energy Consumption - After Geothermal

Geothermal heat pump systems can reduce a home's annual energy costs by up to 70%. The pie charts above show the breakdown of a home's energy consumption prior to making the switch to geothermal and after making the switch to geothermal.

A home still needs the same quantity of heat to maintain thermal comfort, but with a geothermal system, most of this heat comes from a free source - the ground. Overall energy consumption of the home remains the same, but as seen below a significant portion (here it is 59%) of the energy consumed is free!

Geothermal Links

The Geothermal Heat Pump Consortium is a nonprofit organization working to raise awareness and increase the use of geoexchange technology throughout the United States.

The International Ground Source Heat Pump Association (IGSHPA) is a non-profit, member driven organization established in 1987 to advance geothermal heat pump (GHP) technology on local,state, national and international levels.

U.S. Department of Energy Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy provides general information on different types of renewable resources and energy efficient products.