GEO Success for GHPs in Maryland
In late-2011, the Geothermal Exchange Organization (GEO) started work with the Maryland Energy Administration (MEA) to change the state’s policy and legislation regarding geothermal heat pumps (GHPs). Following a stakeholders meeting in early December, MEA increased incentive caps for GHP installations from $1,000 to $3,000 for residential units, and $10,000 for commercial units. With several other stakeholders, GEO backed a bill that will recognize GHPs and make them eligible for Renewable Energy Credits under the state’s Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard (REPS). MEA Geothermal Program Manager Doug Hinrichs notes several reasons to include GHPs in Maryland’s REPS:
- More technology options to meet renewable energy procurement mandates;
- Reducing “first cost” of GHPs for home and business owners;
- Increasing local economic development (well drillers, heat pump installers, HVAC industry); and
- Reducing the use of conventional energy, including coal, nuclear and fuel oil.