As global warming continues to be a growing concern, the search for renewable energy sources has become increasingly important. Geothermal energy, or energy derived from the Earth’s natural heat, has emerged as a promising alternative to traditional sources of energy. However, many are still unsure as to whether geothermal qualifies for tax credits. In this article, we will delve into the details and answer this question, examining the potential benefits of geothermal and the criteria for eligibility for tax credit.

1. Overview of Geothermal Energy and Its Advantages

Geothermal energy is a renewable and sustainable source of energy that is generated from the earth’s core. It involves harnessing the natural heat generated from the earth to produce electricity and heat for homes and businesses. Geothermal energy is a clean source of energy that emits almost no greenhouse gases, making it an eco-friendly alternative to traditional forms of energy.

One of the main advantages of geothermal energy is that it is a renewable and sustainable energy source that is not dependent on fossil fuels. This means that it is a reliable and cost-effective source of energy that is not affected by fluctuations in oil prices or political instability. Additionally, geothermal energy is a reliable source of energy that can provide heat and electricity 24/7, 365 days a year.

Another advantage of geothermal energy is that it is a highly efficient form of energy that can reduce energy costs and lower carbon footprints. According to the Department of Energy, geothermal energy systems can cut energy bills by up to 70% compared to traditional heating and cooling systems. Geothermal systems are also durable and require minimal maintenance, making them a cost-effective investment for homeowners and businesses alike.

In summary, geothermal energy is a renewable and sustainable source of energy that is clean, efficient, and cost-effective. It offers numerous benefits that make it an attractive alternative to traditional forms of energy, such as fossil fuels.

2. Understanding Tax Credit and Its Benefits for Renewable Energy

In today’s world, renewable energy is becoming increasingly important. With growing concerns about climate change and depletion of resources, it has become important to find alternative sources of energy, and geothermal energy is one of them. It is a form of clean energy that taps into the natural heat of the earth, and it has numerous advantages over other forms of energy.

One major advantage of geothermal energy is its cost-effectiveness. Unlike other forms of energy that require a constant source of fuel, geothermal energy does not. Once the geothermal system is installed, the energy it produces is virtually free. Additionally, geothermal energy does not give off any harmful emissions that pollute the environment. The US government has recognized the importance of renewable energy and encourages homeowners and businesses to adopt it by providing tax incentives.

A tax credit is a dollar-for-dollar deduction from the amount of taxes owed. In the United States, there are multiple tax credits available for those who invest in renewable energy. Geothermal energy qualifies for a tax credit, and this tax credit can be applied towards the installation costs. The tax credit for geothermal energy is capped at 26% of the total cost of equipment and installation for systems that are installed before December 31st, 2022.

It is important to note that only those who own, rather than lease, a qualifying geothermal system are eligible for the tax credit. Additionally, the system must meet certain efficiency guidelines to qualify for the credit. According to the US Department of Energy, geothermal heat pumps are eligible for the tax credit if their coefficient of performance (COP) is at least 3.6 for closed-loop systems and 4.2 for open-loop systems. To claim the tax credit, you will need to file IRS Form 5695 with your taxes.

In conclusion, understanding tax credits and their benefits is crucial for those wishing to invest in renewable energy, particularly in geothermal systems. The cost-effectiveness and environmental friendliness of geothermal energy make it an attractive option for homeowners and businesses alike, and the available tax incentives make it even more appealing. By understanding the eligibility requirements for the geothermal tax credit and following the proper steps to claim it, you can save money on installation costs while contributing to a cleaner environment.

3. Eligibility Requirements for Geothermal Energy Tax Credits

Does Geothermal Qualify for Tax Credit?

To qualify for geothermal tax credit, certain eligibility requirements must be met. These requirements are as follows:

  1. Geothermal System Installation: Firstly, the geothermal system must be installed in a home or business that you own. This means that you cannot claim tax credit if the geothermal system is installed in a rental property or other property that you do not own.
  2. System Efficiency: Secondly, the geothermal system must have a Coefficient of Performance (COP) of 3.6 or higher. COP measures how much energy is supplied by the geothermal system compared to how much energy is required to run it. The higher the COP, the more efficient the system is.
  3. System Type: Thirdly, the geothermal system must use ground or water as the thermal energy source. Systems that use air as the thermal energy source do not qualify for tax credits.
  4. System Installation Date: Fourthly, the geothermal system must have been installed after December 31, 2016, and no later than December 31, 2021. This means that only systems installed within this time frame are eligible for tax credits.
  5. Tax Liability: Finally, to claim the geothermal tax credit, you must have a tax liability. This means that you must owe taxes to the government, and the tax credit will reduce the amount of tax owed by the same amount as the credit.

It is important to note that these eligibility requirements may change in the future, depending on policy changes and updates to tax laws. Therefore, it is important to stay informed about any changes to geothermal energy tax credit programs in the future. By meeting these eligibility requirements, homeowners and businesses can take advantage of tax credits and reduce the cost of geothermal system installation and operation.

4. Steps to Claim Geothermal Tax Credit: A Comprehensive Guide

In order to receive tax credit for installing a geothermal energy system in your home or business, you need to follow specific steps and meet certain qualifications. Here is a comprehensive guide to claim geothermal tax credit:

Step 1: Install a Qualifying Geothermal Energy System

The system must meet the requirements laid out by the federal government and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). This includes having at least a 30% efficient Energy Star-rated closed-loop geothermal heat pump for residential properties or a system that meets the Energy Guidelines for Commercial Buildings.

Step 2: Obtain Proper Documentation

Obtain a Manufacturer Certification Statement that verifies that your geothermal system meets the Energy Star or Commercial Building Tax Credit requirements. Additionally, a list of expenses to be incurred while installing a geothermal energy system should be prepared. These documents should be kept ready in the file maintained for tax returns.

Step 3: File Taxes for the Applicable Year

Make sure to include the 30% federal tax credit on IRS Form 5695 with your tax return forms, and file the return by the appropriate due date.

Note: It is important to be aware that some states and utilities may offer additional incentives and tax credits. Check with your state and local utility company to know more.

Claiming geothermal tax credit may involve a lot of paperwork and documentations. Therefore, it is recommended to seek professional assistance from tax preparers or experts in the field. By following these simple steps, you can receive up to 30% of the cost of installing your geothermal system as a tax credit on your federal income tax.

5. Common Misconceptions about Geothermal Tax Credits—Debunked

There are some common misconceptions about geothermal tax credits that we need to address. Let’s take a look at some of them and why they are not true.

Myth 1: Geothermal Tax Credits are Only for New Constructions

This is not true. Geothermal tax credits are available for both new constructions and existing homes. As long as the geothermal system meets the eligibility requirement, you can claim the tax credit. However, if you’re retrofitting an existing home, your tax credit will not cover the entire cost of the installation.

Myth 2: Geothermal Tax Credit is Not Worth It

Again, this is not true. The geothermal tax credit is one of the best incentives available for homeowners and businesses who choose renewable energy. It’s a one-time credit that can reduce your tax liability or even increase your tax refund. According to, the installation of a geothermal heat pump system can save homeowners up to $1,500 annually on heating and cooling costs. This means your investment will pay off in the long run.

Myth 3: Geothermal Energy is Not Efficient

This is probably the most common myth about geothermal energy. In fact, geothermal energy is one of the most efficient and environmentally friendly forms of energy. A geothermal heat pump system can produce up to four units of heat for every unit of electricity, making it 400% efficient, according to the Department of Energy. It uses very little electricity to produce heating or cooling, which means you can reduce your energy bills while having a better impact on the environment.

Now that we’ve debunked some of the misconceptions about geothermal tax credits, you can make an informed decision whether you want to install a geothermal heat pump system and avail the tax credit. Remember, the tax credit is a significant incentive, and the benefits of geothermal energy go beyond just short-term energy savings. It’s an investment for the future.

6. Current Geothermal Tax Incentive Programs for Homeowners and Businesses

Geothermal energy is becoming a popular choice for homeowners and businesses alike due to its many benefits, including reduced energy costs and environmental impact. To encourage the use of renewable energy sources, the government offers tax incentives for geothermal systems. Here are some current geothermal tax incentive programs available for homeowners and businesses.

Federal Tax Credit

The federal government offers a tax credit for geothermal heat pumps installed in residential and commercial properties. Homeowners can receive a tax credit of up to 26% of the total cost of the system, while businesses can receive a tax credit of up to 10% of the total cost. This tax credit applies to both new installations and replacements of existing systems. To be eligible for the federal tax credit, the geothermal system must meet certain efficiency standards, which can be verified by the manufacturer.

State Tax Incentives

In addition to the federal tax credit, several states offer their own tax incentives for geothermal installations. Some states offer rebates for the cost of the system, while others offer property or sales tax exemptions. The availability and amount of state tax incentives vary by state, so it is important to check with your local government to see what programs are available.

Utility Rebates

Some utility companies offer rebates for customers who install geothermal systems. These rebates can vary by utility company and location, but they can provide a significant incentive for homeowners and businesses to switch to geothermal energy.

Overall, there are many tax incentives available for those who choose to invest in geothermal energy. These incentives make it easier for homeowners and businesses to make the switch to renewable energy and reap the benefits of reduced energy costs and environmental impact. By taking advantage of these programs, you can make a positive impact on both your bottom line and the planet.

7. Future of Geothermal Energy and Potential Changes to Tax Credit Programs

As the global concern for sustainable energy grows, the future of geothermal energy looks bright. According to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IREA), geothermal is expected to provide up to 3.5% of the world’s electricity by 2050. This growth is fueled by technological advancements in geothermal drilling and power generation, making it a more feasible option for wider use.

The potential for growth in geothermal energy could lead to changes in tax credit programs. Currently, the federal tax credit for geothermal installation is set to expire at the end of 2021. However, there are ongoing efforts in Congress to extend this credit and increase the incentive amount.

Many states also offer their own tax credit programs, which may change in the future to reflect the growth of geothermal energy. For example, in California, there is a Self-Generation Incentive Program that offers rebates to those who install geothermal systems for their homes or businesses. This program is set to expire at the end of 2021 as well, but discussions are ongoing to extend it.

As the technology for geothermal energy improves, it could also mean changes in the eligibility requirements for tax credit programs. Currently, there are specific requirements for installation and performance that must be met in order to qualify for tax credits. However, technological advancements could lead to changes in these requirements, making it easier for more people to access these incentives.

Overall, the future of geothermal energy looks promising and with it, the potential for changes in tax credit programs to support its growth. It’s important to stay informed and up to date on any changes to these programs to take advantage of the incentives available for renewable energy.

People Also Ask

What is the geothermal tax credit?

The geothermal tax credit is a financial incentive given by the government to homeowners who have installed geothermal heating and cooling systems.

Does geothermal qualify for federal tax credit?

Yes, geothermal qualifies for a federal tax credit. Property owners can claim a 26% tax credit on the cost of installing a geothermal heating and cooling system until 2022.

Is there a limit on the geothermal tax credit?

Currently, there is no limit on the geothermal tax credit. Homeowners can claim a credit equal to 26% of the total cost of the system, including labor and materials.

Do I need to claim geothermal tax credit on my taxes?

Yes, you need to claim the geothermal tax credit on your taxes. You can use IRS Form 5695 to claim the credit and receive your savings.

Can I claim a geothermal tax credit if I already claimed one in the past?

Yes, you can claim a geothermal tax credit even if you have claimed it in the past. You can claim the credit every time you install a geothermal heating and cooling system in your property.


In conclusion, geothermal qualifies for a federal tax credit, and homeowners can claim up to 26% of the total cost of installation, including labor and materials. The tax credit has no limit, and homeowners can claim the credit multiple times if they have more than one geothermal system installed. To claim the credit, homeowners must use IRS Form 5695 when filing their taxes. Taking advantage of the geothermal tax credit can help reduce the upfront costs of installing a geothermal heating and cooling system and provide long-term energy savings.