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 co-sponsored by the National Ground Water Association (NGWA).

The “2009/2010 Geothermal Heating and Cooling Systems State Regulatory Oversight Survey” was designed to allow readers to easily compare state-by-state regulations as well as aggregate data on all responding states. Thirty-four states responded to the survey, which was also sponsored by the Ground Water Protection Council, GeoExchange, and the International Ground Source Heat Pump Association.

The survey found that most states regulate some aspect of geothermal heat pump system installations, particularly those involving vertical boreholes. Across technologies, water well boards most often develop specific regulations for geothermal health pump system installations. And in most cases, individuals constructing wells or boreholes are required to have a license; this is less often the case with trenched systems.

According the survey, most regulatory oversight takes place at the state level as opposed to the county, city, town, or village levels. However, very few states have tracked the number of installations from 2004 to 2008.

Also, the survey reported that many states that do not currently regulate installations are planning to do so, although only with certain geothermal heat pump system technologies.

The complete survey results are free to NGWA members. Nonmembers can purchase the survey results at www.ngwa.org.

Publication date:05/31/2010