A Geothermal Heat Pump System is a mechanical device that uses geothermal exchange properties and the relatively constant temperature of earth formations for heating or cooling a building space. Heat pumps move heat from one place to another using electricity. Geothermal heat pumps take advantage of these constant underground temperatures to efficiently exchange temperatures, heating homes in the winter and cooling homes in the summer. There are open-loop and closed-loop systems.

An open-loop system using either a water well supply or return well for the disposal of used water requires a permit (see below).  The wells must be constructed in accordance with the state well code.

Closed-loop systems do not extract groundwater, but LCHD has requirements for closed-loop systems. Individuals installing these systems need to apply for a permit (see below).

Images courtesy of U.S. Department of Energy  

How to Apply for a Geothermal Well or Heat Pump Permit

Submit a complete Geothermal Heat Pump Application to to LCHD Environmental Health Division in-person, by email, or online. The application must include:

  • Documentation of permanent street address if new construction (tax bill, township address form, etc.)
  • Copy of a certified survey and legal description (for new construction only)
  • Copy of an accurate plot plan (Example)
  • Appropriate fees (see below)

Once these materials are submitted, an Environmental Health Specialist will review and issue the permit and/or contact you within 3-5 business days to request additional information. At your request, permits will be mailed or picked up once issued. Issued permits will automatically be forwarded on to the municipality and Building Official.


Open Loop Geothermal Well*/Vertical Closed Loop Geothermal
Horizontal Closed Loop Geothermal
*If installing an open-loop geothermal system in conjunction with a new well, then there is no addition charge beyond the well permit fee.  If installing an open-loop geothermal system to an existing well, then the fee is $75.

Last Modified February 28, 2024

Environmental Health
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Matt Bolang

Matt Bolang
Health Officer



(517) 546-9858


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Howell, MI 48843


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