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Maryland Geothermal
Heat Pump Grant Program

Earth River Geothermal - Geothermal Heating and Cooling - Annapolis, Maryland

Maryland Energy Administration

October 28, 2011

MEA is changing its Clean Energy Grant Program incentive structure as of November 1, 2011. Please read this entire letter for important information about the change.

Increasing the amount of renewable energy is one of the State’s key policy goals. The Maryland Energy Administration is tasked with achieving the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS). Currently, the RPS requires that 20% of energy sold in Maryland in 2022 come from qualified renewable energy resources, with 2% coming from qualified solar resources.
Maryland has made significant strides toward its goals:

Renewable Energy World magazine named Maryland to its list of Top 10 Solar Friendly States.

Solar Renewable Energy Credits have provided a successful, market-based incentive to help drive the market to install an anticipated 40 MW of solar across the state by the end of CY 2011 as compared to 7 MW at the end of CY09 and 17 MW at the end of CY10.

MEA's Generating Clean Horizons program broke ground on the state's largest solar array at Mount St. Mary's University in Emmitsburg. The project will annually produce 22,000 MWh of electricity, enough to provide energy for an estimated 1,800 homes.
MEA's Project Sunburst has contributed 9.2 MW of solar capacity by advancing the use of Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) to ensure long-term financial stability of larger PV projects on public buildings.
Along with these larger programs, MEA’s Residential Clean Energy Grant Program (CEGP), started in
FY05, has:

Received more than 6,200 applications for over $20,000,000

Paid out over $16,500,000 in grants to homeowners that have helped install more than

o 2,000 PV systems with more than 10.5 MW of capacity

o 1,100 solar water heating systems

o 1,500 geothermal heat pump systems

o 85 small wind systems

Much of the Residential CEGP funding has been supplied by the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act (ARRA), but those funds have been rapidly depleted due to overwhelming success of MEA's grant programs. Based on the recent increase in the application rate, the CEGP would have run out of its original FY12 funding of $6.3 million in a few months, well before the end of the fiscal year. Further, MEA would likely have committed most of next fiscal year’s budget before the fiscal year even begins. To prevent a months-long gap before FY13 funding comes available, MEA has decided to shift money from other programs and provide and additional $2.5 million to the Residential CEGP and change the grant structure as of Tuesday, November 1, 2011.
We will be posting a list of applications that were received by the deadline date on our website in the coming weeks, along with reports showing the status of pending and historical grants. Please first refer to these files prior to contacting MEA regarding your grant status.

MEA will accept complete grant applications with all supporting documentation at the "current" program incentive structure found in the table below through October 31, 2011. To receive the current grant structure, applications must be:

Hand-delivered to MEA's offices at 60 West Street, Annapolis, MD before 5:00 pm, Monday, October 31, 2011.

Postmarked by midnight, Monday, October 31, 2011, and received by MEA by Thursday, November 3, 2011;

o Please ensure that the post office cancels the postage, or used certified mail or a parcel delivery company to assure MEA can confirm the postmarked date

o The date generated from automated postage machines will not be sufficient proof of postmark
MEA is committed to continuing the Residential CEGP into FY13, albeit at reduced levels for two technologies. To continue a stable and more sustainable program without starts and stops that have crippled other states, MEA will make the following changes to the program effective November 1,


Change the PV grant structure from a graduated $500/kW to a flat amount of $1,000/PV


Reduce the geothermal heat pump grant cap to $1,000.

Grant Structure Effective November 1, 2011 (changes in bold)


Valid System Size

Grant Calculation

Maximum Award

Solar Photovoltaic (PV)

Up to 20 kW



Solar Water Heating


20% of Total Cost


Geothermal Heat Pumps


$500 / ton


Small Wind

Up to 100 kW

Click to see details


Grants are allocated on a first come/first served basis across technologies. Homeowners may apply for one grant per technology per fiscal year. Leasing companies may apply for one grant per technology per address per fiscal year.

MEA regrets any inconvenience this may cause to the solar and/or geothermal industry in Maryland, but these changes reflect the inevitably of depletion of the ARRA funds. By making these changes, the CEGP will be able to continue supporting clean energy in the residential sector.


Malcolm Woolf


The Maryland Energy Administration (MEA) is announcing an update to the calculation of its Geothermal Heat Pump Grant Program.

The MEA's budget for its residential geothermal grant program has seen a near ten-fold increase over the last two years. Fiscal year 2010 was a record funding year for MEA; supported by funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) as well as proceeds from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), MEA was able to award renewable energy grants to more than 2,000 Maryland residents and small business owners.

Demand for MEA's Geothermal Heat Pump Grant Program remains high with more than a hundred applicants still awaiting grant approval.  With the strong rate of incoming applications, MEA has now reserved all of its budgeted ARRA funds for its residential geothermal grant program. Out of a desire to extend the grant programs beyond this fiscal year to continue reaching as many Marylanders as possible, MEA is announcing an update to the calculation of our Geothermal Heat Pump Grant Program.

Geothermal Grants remain at $500 per ton with new cap at $1,000 for residential installations.

This update will become effective on Aug. 23, 2010. Grant applications must be received by MEA (either hand delivered or by mail) no later than 4 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 23, in order to be eligible for the previous grant calculation. Any grant application received after 4 p.m. on Aug. 23, 2010, will fall under the new grant amount.

Program Structure:

Grants awarded under this Program may not exceed $500 per ton of cooling capacity, with maximum grant amounts of $1,000 for residential systems, and $7,000 for commercial systems.

How to Apply:

Applicants must take the following steps before submitting an application package:

  1. Complete, sign, and date the 2-page Application Form
  2. Review, sign, and date Geothermal Grant Program Terms and Conditions Revised Jan 2010 as well as read the ARRA Addendum – Special Terms and Conditions for ARRA-Funded Grants Revised June 2010 .
  3. Complete the Maryland Historical Trust Project Review Form (only if property is located within a Historic District or structure is more than 50 years old)
  4. Submit a signed cost estimate, purchase order, invoice, or letter of intent
  5. Submit an itemized list of components
  6. Submit a site plan exhibiting location of wells and loops (Aerial image from Google Earth, Google Maps, digital photo or print photo are all acceptable as long as location of work is clearly marked, will satisfy MHT review supporting documentation)

Allocation of Grants:

MEA will be resuming grant approvals up until all funds are fully committed for this current fiscal year. Please see Schedule of Grant Apprvoals to see if MEA has approved your previously submitted application.

Please note, grant approvals will only be dispersed if MEA receives a signed and dated Grant Program Terms and Conditions (Attachment A) signifying that you fully understand the ARRA Addendum – Special Terms and Conditions for ARRA-Funded Grants, as well as passed Maryland Historical Trust review.

Information for Installers:

In order for any applicant from this point forward to be eligible for funding for the remainder of the current fiscal year, ending at the end of June, 2010, applicants (if a business, organization or government entity) must demonstrate that their installation will be performed in compliance with Davis-Bacon Act requirements. 

As result, MEA will be requiring that contractors or subcontractors (well-drillers included) generate certified prevailing-wage rate/payroll documents to be submitted along with an applicant’s Completion Certificate (Attachment B).  For an example of such a document, please see: For instructions on how to complete certified prevailing-wage rate/payroll form please see:

In addition, MEA has expanded its Completion Certificate (Attachment B) to include mandatory reporting requirements, which MEA will need to submit to the federal government on a monthly basis.  Some of these additional requirements are:

  1. Recipient’s legal name, address and any “doing-business-as” (DBA) name;
  2. Recipient’s congressional district (can be found at;
  3. All contractor and subcontractor names, addresses and DUNS numbers (to request a DUNS number please see;
  4. Project number assigned by contractor to the grant recipient (if applicable);
  5. Project start date and installation date;
  6. Number of Full-Time Employee Equivalents (FTEs) created or retained (for guidelines on how to calculate FTEs created/retained please read Guidelines for Jobs Reporting)
  7. A description of the contractors and subcontractors services.

Davis-Bacon Act – prevailing wage requirement removed for residential installations:

On December 30, 2009 the US Department of Energy released a memo making a final determination that rebates to individual homeowners for energy efficiency and renewable energy improvements to an individual’s home are no longer subject to Davis-Bacon Act prevailing wage requirements. As a result, applicants who are individual homeowners are no longer required to submit contractor’s payroll forms with their Completion Certificate (Attachment B) in order to receive an MEA geothermal heat pump grant.  Applicants who are registered businesses, organizations and/or government entities will still need to ensure that Davis-Bacon Act requirements are met and will have to produce certified payroll forms to be eligible for an MEA grant.

For more inforamtion please see: January 7th Update for Maryland Geothermal Grant Program

Maryland Historic Trust Review:

State and Federal law provides for a review of projects that have the potential to impact properties deemed historically significant if they are funded in whole or in part by public funds.  Projects funded by Maryland’s geothermal grant program qualify for review by the Maryland Historical Trust (MHT).   Review the Maryland Historical Review Guidance Document prior to submitting an application.

If your site is on a local, state, or national Register of Historic Properties, please contact the Maryland Historical Trust prior to submitting an application to MEA so that MHT can work with the installer on system design. 

If your site is within a Historic District or the structure is more than 45 years old, and the proposed installation would be clearly visible from the front façade of the building, please contact the Maryland Historical Trust prior to submitting an application to MEA so that MHT can work with the installer on system design.

If your site meets any of the above criteria, submit the Maryland Historical Trust Project Review Form along with a map, photographs of the project site, and a brief description of the proposed work to MHT.  The Maryland Historical Trust will respond with either confirmation that the work will not be adverse or with detailed comments about how to proceed.   Contact Fred Shoken at with any questions regarding the Project Review Form or historical review process in general.

If your site is less than 45 years old and not in a Historic District or the proposed installation would not be visible from the front façade(s) of the building, you do not need to submit a Maryland Historical Trust Project Review Form.  However, you must submitan ariel photo with sketch of proposed project location (Google image acceptable) or photos of site including building facades along with the MEA grant application to qualify for an expedited historic review. For more information please review Maryland Historic Trust Review Guidance

More Information:

New Federal Tax Credits for Geothermal Heat Pumps:

With the recent passage of The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, qualified Geothermal Heat Pumps installed after December 31, 2008 are eligible for a Federal Income Tax Credit equal to 30% of the total installed cost. For more info please see: Federal Tax Incentives for Renewable Energy.

Eligibility Requirements:

To be grant eligible system must meet minimum efficiencies of:

Full load minimum Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER) of 15.5; and full load mimimum Coefficient of Performance (COP) of 3.5 under rating conditions in accordance with the International Standards Organization (ISO) Standard 13256- 1 or the Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute (ARI) Standard 870 for ground-loop heat pumps.

Applicants are encouraged to become familiar with the program terms and conditions and eligibility criteria prior to applying. There is supporting documentation required along with the application forms.

Terms and Conditions:
Geothermal Grant Program Terms and Conditions

ARRA Information:
Special Terms and Conditions for ARRA Grants ***Revised June 2010***

Maryland Historical Trust Review:
Maryland Historical Trust Project Review Form

Applications Information:
Application Form ***Revised August 24, 2010***

Completion Information:
Geothermal Completion Certificate ***Revised January 2010***

Technical Information:
Information on Geothermal Heat Pumps (DOE geothermal information)
Geothermal Heat Pump Consortium
International Ground Source Heat Pump Association

List of Installers:
Geothermal Heat Pump Consortium Installers and Well Drillers
International Ground Source Heat Pump Association-accredited installers
ACCA Geothermal-Heatpump-Contractors

Contact Maryland Energy Administration:
Email or Call 1-800-72ENERGY.

Contact Us to get a free geothermal system installation estimate!

Earth River Geothermal is a Maryland Geothermal Heating and Cooling Geothermal HVAC System Geo Exchange PartnerEmail Us or call (410) 263-8538A green sprouting plant growing from geothermal and solar energy

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