The Maryland Energy Administration (MEA) offers rebates of $3,000 for residential geothermal heat pump systems and up to $4,500 for non-residential geothermal heat pump systems. The residential program offers a flat per system incentive ($3,000) for systems with up to 10 tons of refrigeration capacity (1 ton is equivalent to 12,000 BTUs). The non-residential program offers $180 per ton for systems of less than 25 tons and $90 per ton for systems from 25 - 50 tons. It is important to note that these system size/capacity ranges are exclusive, not additive in nature. For example, a 37.5 ton system would be eligible for an incentive of $3,375 (37.5 tons X $90/ton), not $180/ton for the first 25 tons plus $90/ton for the additional 12.5 tons. Funding for the program is provided annually from the Maryland Strategic Energy Investment Fund (SEIF), which receives income from greenhouse gas emission auctions under the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI).
The definition of geothermal heat pump property does not include swimming pools, hot tubs, or any other energy storage device that has a primary function other than storage. In addition, systems should have a minimum Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER) of 14.0 and a minimum Coefficient of Performance (COP) of 3.0 according to the testing standards of the Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute (ARI) or another nationally recognized agency.
Rebate applications must include information on the type of system being installed, the installer, and contain copies of any necessary permits. Not all systems are guaranteed rebates and the MEA may elect to award an amount different than the one requested in the application. If a project is approved the applicant then has 270 days to install the system, assemble the necessary supporting documentation, and submit a completion certificate to the MEA claiming their rebate, or they risk losing their rebate. If a system has already been installed prior to submitting an application to MEA, the project is still eligible for a grant, as long as the system meets the program requirements and was placed in service during the same fiscal year (e.g., July 1, 2010 – June 30, 2011) that the application was submitted. Persons with previously installed systems should contact the MEA for further information.