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Ground Source Heat Pump
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.

RET​C Qualifications

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-ce​rtified 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, b​ased 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 ins​tructions.

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.
​​2016/17 G​eothermal Heat Pump RETC Application
2017 RETC Rate Chart ​​​​​​​​​​​​​

2016 RETC Rate Chart ​​​​​​​​​

​​​​​​​​ RETC Administrative Rules​​​​​​

​​​ Incentives Ending in 2017 ​​​​​

Documents for Geothermal Technicians
​Contact the RETC Team: