Benefits of Ground-Source Heat Pumps

A ground-source heat pump offers the most energy efficient system for heating, cooling, and potentially hot water in a single unit.

Lower greenhouse gas emissions

Lower greenhouse gas emissions than heating and cooling with oil, propane, natural gas, and electric resistance

Cost competitive

Save money on utility bills compared to heating with propane, oil, or electric resistance

All-in-one system

Heating and cooling in one system

Out of sight

Once installed, no equipment is visible from outside

The Technology

How It Works

Also known as a geothermal heat pump, a ground-source heat pump exchanges heat through piping buried in the ground. In the winter, it absorbs the abundant, renewable heat in the ground to heat your home. In the summer, when the air is warmer than the ground, it uses the cooler temperature of the earth to reduce the temperature of the air in your home.

Ground-source heat pumps are ideal for:

New construction | System replacements | Whole home heating and cooling 


Explanation of How Ground Source Heat Pumps Work

This Old House | 3 min. 55 sec.

This Old House plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey explains how to capture the heat buried deep in the ground.

Featured Customer Story

Anastasia and Ezekiel Install a Ground-Source Heat Pump

Ezekiel feels that “a sustainable future needs to be profitable, more fun and more comfortable, or there’s no chance of it getting done.’”

Explore Heat Pump Coaching Services

Depending on your utility provider and where you live, you may be able to access complimentary or low-cost ground-source heat pump coaching services. The goal of these services is to help you determine the best heat pump setup for your home, learn about incentives, and estimate your potential savings before or or as you are engaging with an installer

Check them out below:

Incentives and Financing

Mass Save®

Electric Heating and Cooling Rebates: Up to $15,000 for a whole home ground-source heat pump system. May be up to $30,000 if your household is eligible for Enhanced Rebates.

Municipal Light Plant

If you live in a town served by a Municipal Light Plant (MLP) check your MLP’s website for incentives and rebates.

Mass Department
of Energy
Resources (DOER)

Alternative Energy Certificates (AECs): One-time payment provided to homeowners installing ground-source heat pumps. A 2,000 square foot home with a whole-home system could receive around 300 AECs, worth approximately $1,500-$3,600.

Federal Tax Credits

Inflation Reduction Act: Federal tax credit up to 30% of system cost.

Financing Options

Mass Save® HEAT Loan: Up to $50,000 at 0% interest over terms of up to 7 years. 

Example Cost for a 2,000 FT2 Home

Cost after incentives is estimated by subtracting Mass Save rebate of $15,000, AECs worth $3,600, and Federal Tax Credit from up-front cost.
Cost after incentives may be substantially lower if your household qualifies for income-scaled State and Federal rebates.

Example up-front cost before incentives


Example cost after Massachusetts incentives and Federal Tax Credits:


Things to Consider

If you answer yes to ANY of these questions, then ground-source heat pumps are a good fit for your home

Switching to ground-source heat pumps could save you hundreds or thousands on your home energy bills every year.

If your heating/cooling system is reaching the end of its expected lifetime, consider replacing it with a ground-source heat pump before it fails.

Ground-source heat pumps are the most efficient system available, but will cost more up front to install. If you’re planning on moving in a few years, you might not be able to benefit from all of the potential energy savings offered by ground-source heat pumps.

Ground-source heat pumps can be cheaper to install in new construction projects. Consider designing your home for geothermal from day one!

Ground-source heat pumps don’t have outdoor condensers like central air conditioners or air source heat pumps. All of your outdoor equipment will be buried in the ground, and the heat pump itself will take up no more room than your existing furnace or boiler.

Weatherized homes require less energy to heat, which will allow you to install a smaller GSHP system (less drilling!), reducing the cost of installing a GSHP system and lowering the operating cost.

Contact installers to find out how a ground-source heat pump could work for you

Questions to ask your installer


View full collection of Resources >>

Efficiency First: Weatherize your Home to Save Money

We’re In This Together

Pledge to reduce your home’s carbon footprint by replacing old systems and appliances with clean energy technologies over time.

Join the Clean Energy Transformation

Let's work together to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from our homes and build a clean energy future for Massachusetts.


Join the Clean Energy Transformation

Let's work together to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from our homes and build a clean energy future for Massachusetts.