20 September 2011

OVERVIEW AND STATUS OF U.S. DOE’S NEW GROUND-SOURCE HEAT PUMP PROGRAM INITIATED IN 2009


The U.S. Energy Policy Act of 2005 authorized the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to promote the deployment of ground-source heat pumps (GSHPs). DOE subsequently funded two independent studies to investigate the market status of GSHPs,
barriers to their adoption, and actions needed to overcome the barriers. Using funding appropriated by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) DOE has initiated its first new GSHP activity since 1999. The activity is aimed at the top three barriers
identified in the studies ? high initial cost, lack of consumer and policymaker knowledge and confidence, and limitations of the delivery infrastructure. ARRA funds totaling $67 million
have been allocated for activities including 26 technology demonstration projects at U.S. residential, commercial, and institutional facilities, data-gathering and analysis activities, and
development of a national certification standard for personnel involved in design and installation of GSHP systems. This paper reviews the barriers identified by the two independent studies, describes the new DOE activity and how it is addressing the barriers, and discusses alternative paths forward for the technology.