Geothermal heat pump survey compares state regulations

WESTERVILLE, OHIO — Geothermal heat pump system installations are regulated in most U.S. states, but there is little data tracking the number and type of such systems being installed, according to a new survey, the 2009/2010 Geothermal Heating and Cooling Systems State Regulatory Oversight Survey, cosponsored by the National Ground Water Association (NGWA).

The survey represents up-to-date information for geothermal system regulation. It is designed to allow readers to easily compare state-by-state regulations as well as aggregate data on all responding states.

Survey cosponsors are the Ground Water Protection Council, GeoExchange, and the International Ground Source Heat Pump Association.

Survey findings include the following:

-Most states regulate some aspect of geothermal heat pump system installations, particularly those involving vertical boreholes.

-Many states that don’t currently regulate installations are planning to do so, although only with certain geothermal heat pump system technologies.

-Most regulatory oversight takes place at the state level as opposed to the county, city, town or village levels.

-Across technologies, water well boards most often develop specific regulations for geothermal heat pump system installations

-Very few states have tracked the number of installations from 2004-2008.

-In most cases, individuals constructing wells or boreholes are required to have a license; this is less often the case with trenched systems.

Survey results are free to NGWA members. Non-members can purchase the survey results by through the NGWA bookstore.