MassCEC offers awards to non-profit and government facilities that install qualifying ground-source heat pumps (GSHP), which provide highly efficient electrical heating, cooling, and hot water. This program is part of MassCEC’s Clean Heating and Cooling program, which supports technologies that provide customer cost-savings and environmental benefits while maintaining a high level of comfort and reliability.

Awards are available for project sites that receive electrical service from National Grid, Eversource, Unitil and participating municipal lighting plant communities.

MassCEC has different application requirements depending on your system size. A non-profit or government facility installing a system with a heating capacity over 120,000 BTU/hr should read the instructions for the Commercial-Scale Ground-Source Heat Pump (GSHP) Program. A facility installing a system with a heating capacity up to 120,000 BTU/hr should read the instructions for the Small-Scale GSHP Program.

If you are interested in installing a GSHP system at your facility, MassCEC recommends:

  • Visiting our Finding an Installer webpage, which includes a list of installers and questions to ask installers.
  • Soliciting proposals from at least three designers (and possibly installers).

Designers and installers should visit the GSHP Installer Resources page.

 

Commercial-Scale Program:

Any entity installing a system with a heating capacity over 120,000 BTU/hr should first select a designer that can meet the requirements in the Commercial-Scale Program Manual. The system owner may select an installer at this time as well (which may be the same entity as the designer).

Once the designer has been selected:

  1. The designer completes a preliminary technical analysis and system design that meets the program requirements.
  2. You and the designer jointly apply for the award and other financial incentives. The application must include: the Excel Application FormProject NarrativeParticipant’s Agreement (signed by the system owner), electric bill, load calculation, modeling summary, heat pump rating certificates and relevant tax documentation. Horizontal- and open-loop systems have additional application requirements, and requirements vary for retrofits of existing GSHP systems. Please note:
    • You must schedule an energy efficiency walk-through to take place within the next six months if you have not had one within the past four years
  3. Once MassCEC approves the grant application and issues an award letter, the designer and/or installer can complete the system installation. 
  4. Two sets of project milestone deliverables are submitted. With the complete submission of each milestone, you will receive a portion of the grant amount.  A Milestone Completion Form must be submitted with each milestone.

Please read the Commercial-Scale Program Manual for full details on program eligibility, requirements, and awards.

Small-Scale Program:

Any government or non-profit installing a system with a heating capacity up to 120,000 BTU/hr should first select an installer that can meet the requirements in the Small-Scale GSHP Program Manual. The installer will submit the award application on your behalf. MassCEC maintains a list of installers who have previously participated in the program.

After you've selected selecting an installer, the installer should:

  1. Complete the system design.
  2. Apply for the award on your behalf and help you apply for other financial incentives, which can be found on our Learn About GSHP page.
    • You must provide the installer with a signed copy of the Small-Scale Participant’s Agreement and an electric bill, as well as other information about the project site.
    • You must schedule an energy audit to take place within the next six months if you have not had one within the past four years.
  3. Once MassCEC approves the grant application and issues an award letter, the installer may complete the system installation.
  4. After the project is complete, the installer submits documentation verifying the project is complete.
    • MassCEC may schedule an inspection prior to payment to ensure installation quality.
    • Once complete, MassCEC will issue the award. Payment will typically be issued within four weeks of the time the complete documentation is received.

Please read the Small-Scale Program Manual for full details on program requirements and awards.

How much funding will my business receive?

Small-scale systems are eligible for awards of up to $25,000, and commercial-scale systems are eligible for up to $250,000. The awards are based on a combination of system capacity and efficiency, with “adders” for public and non-profit entities, and for multifamily affordable housing developments.  You can use this grant calculator to estimate the amount of funding you will receive. More details can be found in Section 3 of the Small-Scale Program Manual and Commercial-Scale Program Manual.

Are more efficient heat pumps more expensive?

Although higher-efficiency heat pumps can be more expensive, MassCEC’s awards are structured to compensate business owners for this extra cost through efficiency adders that can account for up to 40 percent of award amounts.

Why isn’t everyone in Massachusetts eligible for this rebate program?

Projects receiving rebates through MassCEC must be located in a utility territory that contributes funding to the Renewable Energy Trust (RET), which includes communities served by investor-owned electric utility companies or a participating municipal lighting plant.

What is an MLP and where are they?

MLP stands for “municipal light plant” and refers to communities who are serviced by a publicly-owned local utility instead of an investor-owned electric company, such as National Grid or Eversource. Some of these MLP communities contribute to the RET, which is the funding source for rebates. We are unable to provide rebates to MLP communities that do not contribute to the RET.

Can retrofits of existing GSHP systems qualify?

Yes, awards are based on a percentage of costs, up to a maximum of $8,594 for government and non-profit entities, $11,719 for publicly owned affordable housing or $150,000 for large-scale systems. Eligible project costs include: replacement heat pump equipment, new loop piping, well modifications or additions and any associated labor. Internal distribution system modifications and miscellaneous costs are not eligible.

The Ground-Source Heat Pump program is one in a suite of MassCEC’s Clean Heating and Cooling programs. In 2015, MassCEC authorized $30 million in funding for Clean Heating and Cooling programs through 2020.

For questions on the Ground-Source Heat Pump program, please contact us at GSHP@masscec.com or (617) 315-9357.