Geothermal heat pumps offer some of the best benefits of any high-efficiency heating and cooling system, despite their initial installation costs. They require 25 to 50 percent less energy to run than a standard heating and cooling system, and because they use the energy from the earth their efficiency ratings can be from 250 to 600 percent even in prolonged, harsh winter conditions. Investing in a system like this benefits not only you, but also reduces your home’s impact on the environment. The U.S. government is offering federal tax credits for homes using geothermal heat pumps, extended through 2016.
To qualify for a federal tax credit, geothermal heat pumps have to be installed and operational by December 31, 2016. The credit applies to both principal and secondary residences, and to both newly constructed and old homes. Rentals, however, do not qualify. All geothermal heat pump systems certified by Energy Star qualify.
If your system qualifies, the tax credit is 30 percent of the initial cost, including installation, and there is no upper limit. If you have an open-loop system the EER (Energy Efficiency Rating) must be at least 16.2, and the COP (Coefficient of Performance) must be at least 3.6. If you have a closed-loop system, the EER must be 14.1 or higher, and the COP at least 3.3. Direct expansion systems must have an EER of at least 15 with a COP of 3.5. To apply for a credit file by April 15, 2011 using the 2010 IRS form 5695.
Thanks to these government incentives, investing in a geothermal heat pump is more feasible than ever for many Oregon homeowners.
These are federal tax credits from the US government, but your system may also apply for additional rebates, incentives and tax breaks from sources such as utility companies and the Oregon Department of Energy. Look up your system on their website, or contact Roth Heating & Cooling, Plumbing & Electrical for more information about the benefits and savings of geothermal heat pumps.