Commercial-Scale Ground-Source Heat Pump Grant Program

August 14, 2019


Massachusetts Clean Energy Center(MassCEC) provides grants to install high-efficiency ground-source heat pumps (“GSHP”) at commercial, public, non-profit, agricultural, and multifamily properties. This Commercial-Scale GSHP Program is part of MassCEC's Clean Heating & Cooling programs. Through the program, MassCEC supports new and retrofit ground-source heat pump installations by eligible customers located in a utility territory that contributes to the Massachusetts Renewable Energy Trust. Project sites that provide space heating, cooling, domestic hot water, or process heating with rated heating capacities of greater than 120,000 BTU/hr may apply under this program. Individual project system owners can be awarded up tp $500,000 per fiscal year. The program allows for third-party owned systems. All projects under the capacity of 120,000 BTU/hr should apply under the Residential and Small-Scale Ground Source Heat Pump Program.

Grant Amount: Annual funding may be limited and is available on a first-come, first-served basis. 

New GSHP Systems: 

The Grant value is calculated on a per-ton basis, and no grant for a new GSHP System can exceed the lesser of $250,000 or 50% of eligible project costs. Eligible project cost includes equipment and labor costs required to install the GSHP system, but excludes distribution upgrades and other miscellaneous costs. Payment is delivered through a series of payment milestones. Base grant is $2,000 per heating ton, with following adders available:

  • Efficiency adder (per 1.0 COP above min.): $1,000 per heating ton
  • Public and non-profit adder: $750 per heating ton
  • Affordable housing adder: $1,000 per heating ton

Retrofit GSHP Installations: 

Eligible existing GSHP should be at the end of its useful life, and should be open-loop or incomplete. The Grant will be calculated as a percentage of eligible project costs. Eligible project cost includes costs associated with replacement heat pump equipment, new loop piping, well modifications or additions, and any associated labor. Internal distribution system upgrades or modifications and miscellaneous costs are not considered eligible project costs. No Grant for a retrofit GSHP System can exceed $150,000. Applicable percentage of total eligible cost is based on the project type: 

  • Business: 20%
  • Public/Non-profit: 27.5%
  • Private Affordable Housing: 30%
  • Public or Non-Profit Affordable Housing: 37.5%


Preliminary technical analysis should be completed by licensed and experienced primary designers before applying for a grant, and applications must be submitted to and approved by MassCEC before the construction starts. All project sites with existing facilities must have had an energy efficiency whole-building walk-through completed by their utility within the past 48 months or plan to undertake an energy efficiency whole-building walk through prior to project completion. MassCEC reserves the right to review or inspect the project. Detailed information on equipment efficiency requirements and installer requirements can be found at the manual

To apply, consumers should provide an application, project narrative, participant's agreement, electric bill, load calculation, GSHP modeling summary, AHRI rating certificate, and tax documents. Additional documents are required for applicants of specified adders and retrofit projects. 

**This Program is subject to changes to align with the Department of Energy Resources’ (DOER) current Alternative Portfolio Standard (“APS”) regulations and guidelines. 

Program Overview

Implementing Sector: State
Category: Financial Incentive
State: Massachusetts
Incentive Type: Grant Program
Web Site:
Administrator: Massachusetts Clean Energy Center
Start Date:
Eligible Renewable/Other Technologies:
Incentive Amount: New GSHP Systems: base grant of $2,000/heating ton + applicable adders
Retrofit GSHP Systems: calculated as a percentage of eligible project costs, with percentages varying with project types
Maximum Incentive: Individual Project System Owners: up tp $500,000/fiscal year
New GSHP Systems: up to $250,000 or 50% of eligible project costs
Retrofit GSHP Systems: up to $150,000
Equipment Requirements: Rated by AHRI under ANSI/AHRI/ASHRAE/ISO Standard 13256-1 for water-to-air models, Standard 13256-2 for water-to-water models, or Standard 870 for DX models
Additional requirements on blower motors, compressors, well/borehole, open-loop projects, horizontal-loop projects, and direct exchange systems can be found from the website
Installation Requirements: Must be designed by an experienced designer with corresponding credentials
Must be installed by licensed installers
Designers and installers for projects > 30 tons should submit descriptions of two previous GSHP projects of 30 tons or more.


Name: Massachusetts Clean Energy Center
Address: 63 Franklin Street, 3rd Floor
Boston MA 02110
Phone: (617) 315-9300

This information is sourced from DSIRE; the most comprehensive source of information on incentives and policies that support renewables and energy efficiency in the United States. Established in 1995, DSIRE is operated by the N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center at N.C. State University.