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Project Launch: 04/01/2018

Partners: AECOM, Geothermal Alliance of Illinois, University of Illinois Chicago Energy Research Center

This pilot helped create a streamlined incentive for geothermal heat pump installations at commercial, light industrial and public sector buildings.


Prior to this pilot, ComEd customers could only receive custom incentives for nonresidential geothermal or ground-source heat pump (GSHP) installations. Feedback from the geothermal installer community indicated that a more streamlined incentive process could help drive customer adoption. The pilot team collected information on the market opportunity for commercial GSHP projects, developed a streamlined incentive offering of $1,000/ton and submitted a Technical Reference Manual workpaper to help standardize measurement and verification.

Installations were completed at four locations with a total of 48 tons of geothermal capacity. Guidehouse, ComEd’s evaluation partner, completed customer interviews of both pilot participants and near-participants to determine the effectiveness of the pilot incentive rate and other key customer motivators.


Results from the pilot surveys indicated that the streamlined incentive was easier for customers and service providers to utilize. Following the pilot’s completion, a standard prescriptive incentive for commercial GSHP installations was added to the ComEd Energy Efficiency Program portfolio. Findings from the pilot are being used to identify the most effective way to adapt the standard incentive going forward and promote this effective but underutilized technology.