MassCEC Rebate Program for Geothermal Heating and Cooling

MassCEC Tax Rebates for Geothermal

Massachusetts tax rebates are available for geothermal heating and cooling

The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) is an organization that offers rebates to customers who upgrade their home's systems to environmentally beneficial clean technologies. As part of their Clean Heating and Cooling program, homeowners who invest in qualified ground-source heat pumps (GSHP) are eligible for rebates and incentives.

GSHP is a newer technology that can provide users with significant cost savings over the life of the equipment and it is extremely beneficial to the environment. Along with these benefits, GSHP provides homeowners with a high level of both comfort and reliability.

Let's explore exactly how geothermal heating and cooling technology works, how it can benefit both homeowners and the environment, and how you can receive a MassCEC rebate.

What is a ground-source heat pump (GSHP)?

If you're in the market for a new heating and cooling system for your home or business, ground-source heat pumps are excellent at providing cost-effective, energy-efficient heating, cooling and hot water using a single system.

Traditional heating systems use a fuel (oil, gas, propane or electricity) to create heat. A heat pump then moves the heat into or out of a building. While GSHPs still require electricity to operate, energy efficient GSHPs provide the same amount of heat, but use 65 to 80 percent less electricity than traditional electric heating. GSHPs also reduce emissions and offer lower operating costs.

Heat pumps work by circulating refrigerant between an indoor air-handler and an outdoor radiator. The heat pump heats the refrigerant by pressurizing it, pumps it from the radiator back to the air handler which then circulates it through your home. After the refrigerant transfers the heat it's depressurized and cooled. The refrigerant is then pumped back to the outdoor radiator and the process repeats.

Using a similar process, geothermal heat pumps can also cool buildings. Warm air inside the home is cooled by the depressurized refrigerant. The liquid is then sent outside and pressurized, which heats it up. The ambient temperature cools it and the process is repeated.

GSHPs uses the constant underground ambient temperature to heat or cool homes. These systems are considered the most efficient type of heat pump. GSHP systems require trenches or wells to operate. The property must have sufficient space for larger horizontal systems. Many buildings use vertical wells which require less space and are less subject to proper geological conditions. Most GSHP systems use ducted ventilation to distribute hot and cold air throughout your home although some utilize hot water for heating. Many of these systems also provide hot water for use in the home.

Costs and MassCEC Geothermal Incentives

Initial costs for geothermal ground-source heating can be substantial, but a combination of low-interest financing and incentives can significantly reduce these up-front costs. Some homeowners can be cash-flow positive from the day they begin using their new system. Because GSHP systems are high-efficiency systems, homeowners can experience excellent long-term energy savings as well.

The costs for installation of a GSHP system ranges from around $7000 to $13,000 per heating ton, depending on the site and type of project. MassCEC and the state of Massachusetts offer incentives for which you may qualify. These include:

  • MassCEC Rebate                      up to $12,500                              expires in June 2020     
  • Mass HEAT Loan                       0% for 7 yrs, up to $25,000        No Expiration     
  • Mass Sales Tax Exemption        6.25%                    n/a

For businesses seeking to install GSHP at their property, the following incentives are offered:

  • MassCEC Grant                        up to $250,000                                           June 2020     
  • Accelerated Depreciation        5 yrs + bonus depreciation                         No expiration     
  • MassSave Custom Measures    up to 75% of cost on equipment                 No expiration     
  • MassSave Financing                 0% for up to 7 yrs ($5000 - $500,000)     No Expiration           
  • Mass Sales Tax Exemption        6.25%                                                              n/a

Rebates are available for new or existing single family homes or buildings up to 4 units that receive electrical service from National Grid, Eversourse, Unitil and participating municipal plant communities. If your family income is below 120% of the state median income, additional incentives are available.

If you're considering geothermal for your home heating and cooling, speak with a professional at Skillings & Sons. We provide the geothermal well installation and work with IGSHPA accredited installers and licensed professional engineers. The designer of the HVAC system will help submit an application.

GSHP is efficient, environmentally friendly, cost-effective and reliable. If you're not sure if a ground source heat pump is right for you, or if you'd like a site survey to see if you're eligible for installation, speak with your well water professional. They can help you to understand the benefits of GSHPs and help you to apply for MassCEC incentives that can make your new purchase even more cost-effective!