WASHINGTON - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has announced new requirements for residential geothermal heat pumps (GHPs), enabling water-to-water geothermal heat pumps to earn the Energy Star label for the first time. According to the EPA, products covered under this new specification will be as much as 45 percent more energy efficient than standard options.

EPA said it worked with industry stakeholders to revise the requirements in response to growing consumer demand for water-to-water geothermal heat pumps. Water-to-water geothermal heat pumps provide heating and cooling and/or water heating to a building using liquid rather than forced air. The new requirements for water-to-water equipment complement existing efficiency and performance requirements for water-to-air and direct geoexchange GHP models. Homeowners who install geothermal heat pumps with the Energy Star are eligible for a 30 percent federal tax credit.

For more information, visit www.energystar.gov/ghp.

Publication date:12/21/2009