GEO Wins Changes to Illinois TRM for Geothermal Heat Pumps

Illinois MapFollowing its successful effort to legislate recognition of geothermal heat pumps (GHPs) into Illinois renewable and energy efficiency laws, the Geothermal Exchange Organization (GEO) has been directly involved in an eight-month process to win revisions to the state’s Technical Resource Manual (TRM).

“There were lots of contentious issues that needed resolution to ensure that GHPs got a fair shake in efficiency evaluations against their competitors,” said GEO President Doug Dougherty. “But in the end, we got everything that we proposed. We hope it becomes a template for other states.” GEO changes to the TRM include:

  1. Allowing GHPs to replace gas furnaces and realize their rightful heating efficiencies, as a result of changing the law and redefining energy efficiency as reducing total Btus for an end use.
  2. Increasing the life expectancy of GHPs from 18 to 25 years.
  3. Decreasing the cost of GHPs to $3,957/ton.
  4. Increasing the average cost of air-source heat pumps (ASHPs) from $1,203/ton to $1,936/ton.
  5. Requiring savings calculations to be done at the site—not site and source.
  6. Recognizing hot water production with a GHP desuperheater.
  7. Allowing for cooling savings if the home did not have cooling before a GHP retrofit.
  8. Using partial load EER and COP for efficiency calculations, resulting in GHPs being 1.8x more efficient than a 15 SEER ASHP.