U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced Tuesday that his agency will grant nearly $50 million from the government’s economic stimulus package funds to advance commercial deployment of geothermal heating pumps.

The geothermal heating pumps are systems that use the heat from the Earth to heat or cool a house or building. These systems are also known as GeoExchange, earth-coupled, ground-source, or water-source heat pumps.

Expanded use of GHPs in the United States will create new jobs for engineers, manufacturers and technicians while at the same broadening our nation's clean and renewable energy portfolio, Chu said today in Fort Wayne, Indiana in a released statement.

The DOE will consider projects that demonstrate innovative technology, life cycle cost tools and help develop a national accreditation program for these technologies.