The Ontario government is now offering incentives to homeowners for making their homes more energy efficient. While the funding recently announced by the Green Ontario Fund (the province’s not-for-profit agency charged with administering the $3.8 billion fund) covers a wide array of energy efficiency measures, the most significant star of the program is the Ontario heat pump rebate offered for geothermal heat pumps.
The program, which was launched as part of the province’s commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 15 percent below levels measured in 1990, offers rebates for homeowners in Ontario on everything from smart thermostats, windows, and insulation, but the highest rebate amount available is for geothermal heat pumps. Under this new program, homeowners can access up to $20,000 in rebates on heat pumps, keep reading to find out how.
Ontario Heat Pump Rebate of Up to $20,000
Under the new program, Ontario homeowners can apply for rebates to install a geothermal heat pump. You are eligible for different rebates depending on the type of energy supply source you choose (also known as a ground loop), and the maximum rebate amount is $20,000.
A ground loop is the heat source for a geothermal heat pump. It consists of plastic pipes buried in the ground which absorb heat. The heat pump then transfers this heat into your home via either ductwork or in-floor heating (or both). Depending on your home’s unique conditions, your heat pump installer will either suggest a horizontal ground loop or a vertical ground loop. Below are brief descriptions of each type of ground loop.
Horizontal Ground Loop
The least expensive way to install a geothermal heat pump is with a horizontal ground loop, which involves digging trenches up to 250 feet long, four feet wide and six feet deep and then laying plastic piping filled with fluid to absorb the earth’s heat. Since there is no drilling involved, this method tends to be less expensive but also requires more surface area. This type of ground loop is ideal if you have between a quarter and half an acre of land at your disposal. If you choose this design, the GreenON fund will offer a rebate amount of $2,000/per ton of heat pump installed, up to a maximum of $15,000.
Vertical Ground Loop
If you don’t have enough space in your backyard for a horizontal ground loop, your system could use a vertical ground loop instead. In this configuration, boreholes are drilled (similar to drilling a water well) between 150 and 300 feet deep. Plastic piping runs vertically down the borehole where it absorbs the earth’s heat. This method requires much less surface area, but since drilling is required, it tends to be more expensive. If you choose to install a geothermal heat pump with a vertical ground loop, the GreenON fund offers a rebate of $3,000 per ton of heat pump, up to a maximum of $20,000.
Choosing a Group Loop Configuration
The type of ground loop you choose will depend largely on the unique characteristics of your property, and a qualified geothermal heat pump installer will recommend the best option for your home. Both options are equally efficient.
Qualifying for the Ontario Heat Pump Rebate
To qualify for the heat pump rebates, the heat pump you choose must be ENERGY STAR certified. To check if the heat pump you are considering has ENERGY STAR certification, look for the following mark on the product brochures or manuals. Most Nordic heat pumps carry ENERGY STAR certification, but some of our specialty heat pumps don’t so make sure to double check if you are considering a Nordic heat pump for this program.
If you’re an Ontario geothermal heat pump contractor, learn how to add your name to the list of participating contractors here.
Bonus Rebates for Water Heating & More
On top of the standard $2,000 or $3,000 per ton rebate, heat pumps with additional features also qualify for extra rebates.
For example, if your heat pump has a desuperheater for domestic hot water preheating, you’ll qualify for an additional $750 bonus. Extra efficient heat pumps are also eligible for extra rebates. Any heat pump with a coefficient of performance over 4.0 will receive a bonus rebate of $1,500.
These bonus rebates can add up to a significant addition to your overall rebate amount. For example, if you were to install a Nordic R-55 water to air heat pump on a horizontal ground loop, this four-ton heat pump would qualify for $8,000 in rebates, plus an additional $750 for having a built-in desuperheater, and an extra $1,500 for having a coefficient of performance over 4.0. The total rebate amount would be:
(4 x $2,000) + $750 + $1,500 = $10,250
Ontario Heat Pump Rebate Makes Geothermal Affordable
The Ontario heat pump rebate offered by the GreenON fund make geothermal heat pumps an affordable solution for homeowners looking to upgrade their home heating systems to this energy efficient technology. Depending on the size of your geothermal heat pump installation these rebates could cover a significant portion of the installation cost.
To find out if your home is a candidate for a geothermal heat pump, find a Nordic installer near you: