Geothermal heat pumps
, also known as ground-source heat pumps
, use the temperature of the earth to heat or cool a home. They can be more efficient than an air source heat pump
because the ground maintains an almost constant temperature of about 54 degrees. Typical geothermal heat pumps move fluid through buried
pipes, absorbing the earth's temperature. The fluid is then used in the heat pump heat or cool your home
Certain geothermal heat pump systems installed in your
Oregon home may be eligible for a Residential Energy Tax Credit.
An installed geothermal heat pump must meet certain qualifications to earn a Residential Energy Tax Credit, valued at 50 percent of the device, up to $900. The amount of your tax credit will depend on the size of your geothermal system. See the RETC Rate Chart for more information.
Complete qualifications and instructions are outlined in the RETC Application.
New closed-loop geothermal heat pump systems and upgraded geothermal heat pump compressors must:
- Comply with Oregon Administrative Rules.
- Be installed in your Oregon home by a tax credit-certified geothermal technician.
- Have a coefficient of performance (COP) rating of 3.3 or higher; 3.5 for direct expansion (DX) systems.
Upgraded geothermal heat pump compressors must also:
- Be installed for use with a closed-loop ground coupled heat exchanger.
- Be sized within 15% of the unit it's replacing, based on rated cooling capacity.
RETC Program Sunset
The RETC program ended
on December 31, 2017.
To qualify for a 2017 tax credit:
- RETC devices must have been purchased by December 31, 2017;
- Devices must be operational by April 1, 2018; and
- ODOE must receive your application no later than June 1, 2018.
If you plan to transfer your tax credit, ODOE must receive the pass-through application on or before June 1, 2018. Please review the RETC Administrative Rules
for more information about program eligibility and requirements.
Ask your installing technician to fill out the device information in the RETC application for geothermal heat pumps. Your installer should also provide you with a copy of your equipment manufacturer's specification sheet, which will show the COP rating.
Complete the rest of the application with your information, including any other incentives you are receiving. Send the application to us with a copy of your receipt listing the date, installer’s name, model of your equipment, and the price you paid, as well as the specification sheet.
(instructions and application)
Other federal, local, or utility programs may also offer incentives .
Become an Approved Technician
To become an approved tax
credit technician for geothermal heat pumps, you must complete the International
Ground Source Heat Pump Association training, the IGSHPA certified
manufacturer's training program, or other training program approved by the
Oregon Department of Energy. Download the application for complete
Your status as an approved technician must be
renewed every two years, and you must complete continuing education or training
courses. Download the renewal application for complete instructions.
Photo courtesy of Flickr user Dave Pape , via Creative Commons.