For those who attended the 21st annual International Ground Source Heat Pump Association (IGSHPA) conference in Nashville, Tenn., Oct. 1-2, news accounts of the energy credits tied to the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 were the best news for the industry in years.

IGSHPA, a non-profit member-driven association based on the Oklahoma State University campus in Stillwater, Okla., has been working to promote ground-source heat pump technology for 21 years, since Jim Bose, OSU professor and director of the group, revived the technology in the 1980s. “It is really important to us, because it is the first time that we are being tied to renewable energy,” Bose says. “It opens up tax incentives and credits we have not had.”

Attendees of the Nashville conference included nearly 600 engineers, architects, builders, HVAC installation experts, manufacturers of pipe, GHP units, pumps, drilling rigs and others involved in the expanding geothermal heat pump realm. International IGSHPA members also were in attendance from Greece, Romania, China, Canada and other countries.

Enrollment in three classes offered to installers, drillers and system designers packed out the rooms as attendees sought accreditation and training in the industry.

The renewable energy incentives recently approved now will allow for up to a $2,000 tax credit for homeowners who have installed in 2008 or will install geothermal heat pumps through 2016. The Long-term Extension and Modification of the Residential Energy-Efficient Property Credit also includes provisions for solar and small wind investments. It is the first federal tax incentive garnered by the geothermal heat pump industry for homeowners.

More information about the technology, available training and accredited installation sources can be found at the International Ground Source Heat Pump Association Web site at