You are not fully correct here. A ground source heat pump uses electricity to extract heat from the ground (we have gas fired compressors as well), also referred to as the source. It does not generate heat, but part of the electricity it uses to extract the heat from the ground will also end up as heat in the house. The source is to the vast majority solar powered, since the temperature of the upper layers of the earth is determined by solar radiation, especially in NYS without any surface geothermal activities. The geothermal gradient is very stable amount the U.S., it is roughly 1F increase in temperature for every 70 feet of depth. Thus the vast majority of the thermal heat energy of a 400ft borehole (200' average depth), and even more a horizontal system at 5' depth, is driven by the solar radiation, not by geothermal activity coming from nuclear decay in the core of this planet. So what is the difference between a solar thermal system on the roof, where a pump circulates water through, and one buried below ground? It uses the same source energy. Each needs external electricity for pumps to work. Now spin this further, what if I embed the one on the roof into concrete to increase its thermal mass to store the energy better. Or pump it under ground to store the solar thermal energy there? Is the source different? Of course not. Both utilize solar radiation. The NYS statue requires you to utilize solar radiation to heat your home, but it does not require you that a minimum percentage has to come from solar radiation, nor does it exclude systems using a small portion external power (think circulation pump again) to extract the energy better. You are correct that the source energy for air sources heat pump is also solar radiation. The simple question here is: Would this kind of technology work without solar radiation. The answer is clearly no. There are heat pumps which so not use solar radiation, such as heatpump on a building loop, which is conditioned by a boiler and a chiller. They work without solar radiation. Stay tune, the first case in court is scheduled in the middle of September.