CONSIDERING COMBINED HEAT AND POWER (CHP) TO SAVE MONEY, ENHANCE RELIABILITY, AND BENEFIT THE ENVIRONMENT? THE EPA CHP PARTNERSHIP AND PRINCE LAW OFFICES CAN HELP.
WHAT IS CHP?
Typically, nearly two-thirds of the energy used to generate electricity is wasted in the form of heat discharged to the atmosphere. Additional energy is wasted during the distribution of electricity to end users. CHP is on-site electricity generation that captures the heat that would otherwise be wasted to provide useful thermal energy—such as steam or hot water—that can be used for space heating, cooling, domestic hot water and industrial processes. In this way, and by avoiding distribution losses, CHP can achieve efficiencies of over 80 percent, compared to 50 percent for conventional technologies (i.e., grid-supplied electricity and an on-site boiler).
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF CHP?
CHP offers a number of benefits compared to conventional electricity and thermal energy production, including:
- Efficiency Benefits. CHP requires less fuel to produce a given energy output and avoids transmission and distribution losses that occur when electricity travels over power lines.
- Environmental Benefits. Because less fuel is burned to produce each unit of energy output and because transmission and distribution losses are avoided, CHP reduces emissions of greenhouse gases and other air pollutants.
- Economic Benefits. CHP can save facilities considerable money on their energy bills due to its high efficiency, and it can provide a hedge against electricity cost increases.
- Reliability Benefits. Unreliable electricity service represents a quantifiable business, safety, and health risk for some companies and organizations. CHP is an on-site generation resource and can be designed to support continued operations in the event of a disaster or grid disruption by continuing to provide reliable electricity.
WHERE DOES CHP MAKE SENSE?
CHP is ideally suited for energy users that have both electric and thermal energy demands.
CHP is used in many different types and sizes of facilities nationwide, including:
- Commercial buildings—office buildings, hotels, health clubs, nursing homes
- Residential—condominiums, co-ops, apartments, planned communities
- Institutions—colleges and universities, hospitals, prisons, military bases
- Municipal—district energy systems, wastewater treatment facilities, K-12 schools
- Manufacturers—chemical, refining, ethanol, pulp and paper, food processing, glass manufacturing
Desire more specific assistance regarding CHP, renewable energy projects, energy law, or real estate law, contact attorney Jeffrey A. Franklin at Prince Law Offices, P.C.