Tag Archives: CHP

Answers to Frequent Questions about CHP

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. 

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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).

Learn more in Discover CHP.

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.

Learn more in CHP Benefits.

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

Learn more in Discover CHP.

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.



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Join Us at GlobalCon Energy Expo


The GLOBALCON Expo will emphasize four critical areas of leading edge technology and related services:

  • Energy Management, HVAC and Smart Building Systems
  • Renewables, Alternative Energy and Onsite Generation
  • Lighting Efficiency and Integrated Energy Solutions
  • Plant and Facilities Management

GLOBALCON 2017, presented by the Association of Energy Engineers, is designed specifically to facilitate those seeking to expand their knowledge of fast-moving developments in the energy field, explore promising new technologies, compare energy supply options, and learn about innovative and cost-conscious project implementation strategies.  Get a Free Expo exhibits only pass for a limited time here: GLOBALCON Expo

March 22-23, 2017

Pennsylvania Convention Center
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Desire more specific assistance regarding CHP, Solar; renewable energy projects, energy law, or real estate law, contact attorney Jeffrey A. Franklin at Prince Law Offices, P.C.

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CHP-Equipped District Energy: A Winning Strategy for LEED and PEER


Questions about energy efficiency LEED and PEER  and Combined Heat and Power (CHP) for your buildings?  Join us on Wednesday, January 18, 2017 at 2:00 PM EST for a free EPA CHP Partnership and U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) co-hosted webinar about CHP-equipped district energy in the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) and Performance Excellence in Electricity Renewal (PEER) rating systems.

This webinar will highlight:

  • The potential significant LEED point impact for buildings that connect to CHP-equipped district energy systems.
  • How buildings connected to district energy systems earn points in the LEED for Building Design and Construction: New Construction and Major Renovations rating system.
  • Overview of USGBC’s PEER rating system and how the energy-efficiency benefits of CHP-equipped district energy systems are recognized.
  • Opportunities to get involved with the development of LEED and PEER as they relate to district energy and CHP.

Register Now

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.

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You Can Save $$$ – PUC Announces Upgrades to Electric Shopping Website PAPowerSwitch

papowerswitchSwitching power is easier than ever.  You may be able to save money by switching your electric supplier.

In Pennsylvania, you can choose the company that generates your electricity – also known as your electric supplier. This means that you have the power to switch to a competing supplier who can offer the lowest price or provide a specific service you want, such as green/renewable energy.  See what options are available to you!  PAPowerSwitch.com

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) recently announced upgrades to PAPowerSwitch to make the site fully responsive no matter what kind or size of device they use, with updated cleaner and easier navigation; a more attention-grabbing way for visitors to learn more about individual offers on the shopping pages; consolidated pages; and enhanced security.  Over the last two years, nearly 1.9 million visitors have shopped for electric supply offers using PAPowerSwitch.

Chairman Brown pointed to the Commonwealth’s competitive electric market experiencing 14 consecutive months of sustained growth since early last fall.  As of the end of November, nearly 2.1 million Pennsylvania electricity customers (or 36.9 percent) currently receive their electric generation from a competitive supplier.  The November 2016 figure reflects a 3.5 percent increase in the total number of shoppers from September 2015, when the statewide monthly shopping number last dropped.

  • PAPowerSwitch.com, the PUC’s neutral source for power shopping information, is a trusted resource to which respondents turn for information about electric providers, and it will be an educational and helpful resource in the future when making electric provider decisions.

Of the consumers who visit PAPowerSwitch.com:

  • Ninety percent somewhat/strongly agree that the website provides helpful information.
  • Eighty-seven percent are very/extremely satisfied.
  • Seventy percent say that the website is very/extremely easy to navigate.

To learn how Prince Law Offices, P.C. can assist you or your business with PUC matters, lower rates or alternative energy projects, contact attorney Jeffrey A. Franklin at Prince Law Offices, P.C.

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Is My Facility a Good Candidate for CHP?

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.  Answering “yes” to any of the following questions indicates that the facility may be a good candidate for CHP:

  • Do you pay more than $0.07 per kWh on average for electricity (including generation, transmission, and distribution)?
  • Are you concerned about the impact of current or future energy costs on your business?
  • Is your facility located in a deregulated electricity market? (Hint: If in PA, it is.)
  • Are you concerned about the reliability of your facility’s electricity supply? Would there be substantial business, safety, or health impacts if the electricity supply were interrupted?
  • Does your facility operate for more than 5,000 hours per year?
  • Do you have thermal loads throughout the year (such as steam, hot water, chilled water, or hot air)?
  • Do you expect to replace, upgrade, or retrofit central plant equipment (such as generators, boilers, and chillers) within the next 3 to 5 years?
  • Do you anticipate a facility expansion or new construction project within the next 3 to 5 years?
  • Have you already implemented energy efficiency measures and still have high energy costs?
  • Are you interested in reducing your facility’s impact on the environment?

Visit Project Development Steps to learn more about the steps to CHP project development, from initial qualification to CHP system operation and maintenance.

CHP Spark Spread Estimator

The CHP Spark Spread Estimator (XLSM)(1 pg, 1 MB) is an Excel-based tool that helps evaluate a prospective CHP system for its potential economic feasibility. The CHP Spark Spread Estimator calculates the difference between the delivered electricity price and the total cost to generate power with a prospective CHP system.

The tool is intended to help CHP end users and other interested parties conduct an initial screening of potential CHP cost savings at a facility based on basic site data – annual electricity usage, annual thermal loads, average electricity and fuel prices, and annual hours of operation.

In addition to comparing a preliminary estimate of the cost to generate power on site (in terms of $/kWh) to the retail price of power at the site, the estimator provides an approximate comparison of energy consumption and costs with and without CHP.

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.

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PUC Considers Alternative Utility Ratemaking for Energy Reliability and Conservation

As we discussed in our blog on January 8, 2016, the Pennsylvania Public Utility puc_sealCommission (PUC) today, March 3, 2016, hosted a Harrisburg hearing to gather information from a diverse group of experts regarding alternative ratemaking methodologies, as part of ongoing discussions about how to best maintain safe and reliable energy infrastructure while also encouraging utilities to push forward with more aggressive energy efficiency and conservation programs.

The panels involved in today’s hearing reflected perspectives from experts in alternative ratemaking, energy efficiency, consumer organizations, industrial customers and utilities. The agenda and full list of panelists is found on the Commission’s website.

The hearing focused on several issues concerning alternative rate design, including:

  • Whether revenue decoupling or other similar rate mechanisms encourage utilities to better implement energy efficiency and conservation programs;
  • Whether such rate mechanisms are just and reasonable and in the public interest; and
  • Whether the benefits of implementing such rate mechanisms outweigh any costs associated with implementing the rate mechanisms.

In addition to the testimony presented today, the Commission also will review written comments regarding alternative ratemaking, which must be received no later than March 16, 2016.  All documents related to the hearing, including the testimony and presentations submitted by the witnesses who testified today, are available on the Commission’s website.

The Commissioners thanked those who testified today, along with those parties who plan to submit additional comments and testimony, as the PUC continues to explore this issue.

Desire more specific assistance regarding ratemaking, utility costs, renewable energy projects, or energy law, contact attorney Jeffrey A. Franklin at Prince Law Offices, P.C.

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PUC Promotes Combined Heat and Power

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) today, February 25, 2016, approved a joint motion proposing a Policy Statement related to combined heat and power (CHP) technology and increasing development among Pennsylvania’s regulated electric and natural gas distribution companies.

CHP is a form of distributed energy, located at or near a building or facility, which provides at least a portion of the electrical load and uses thermal energy for space heating or cooling, process heating or cooling, refrigeration or dehumidification.

“CHP is an efficient means of generating electric power and thermal energy from a single fuel source, providing cost-effective energy services to commercial businesses like hotels, universities and hospitals,” said Chairman Brown in a joint motion with Commissioner Robert F. Powelson. “In addition to improving manufacturing competitiveness and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, CHP benefits businesses by reducing energy costs and enhancing reliability for the user.”

The Commission voted 5-0 to approve the joint motion, which proposes a Policy Statement intended to:

  • Promote CHP investments;
  • Encourage electric distribution companies (EDCs) and natural gas distribution companies (NGDCs) to make CHP an integral part of their energy efficiency and resiliency plans, as well as their marketing and outreach efforts;
  • Encourage these companies to design tariffs relating to interconnection and standby rates for owners and operators of CHP facilities; and
  • Promote the consideration of special natural gas supply rates for owners and operators of CHP facilities.

The proposed Policy Statement would require EDCs and NGDCs to report to the Commission biennially on the development of CHP in their service territories and their efforts to promote such development.

The Commission held two en banc hearings on CHP in 2014, during which key stakeholders discussed the economics, social costs and benefits and regulatory policies that impact greater adoption in Pennsylvania. Participants at both hearings identified a list of benefits and barriers, outlined in the joint motion.

On Jan. 21, 2016, PUC Chairman Brown, on behalf of the Commission, signed a partnership agreement with the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Better Buildings Initiative. Specifically, the PUC’s partnership agreement pertains to the CHP for Resiliency Accelerator, which was launched by DOE to support and expand the consideration of CHP solutions by states, communities and utilities for their infrastructure needs.

Prince Law Offices, P.C. is a proud partner in U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Combined Heat and Power Partnership (CHPP).  https://blog.princelaw.com/2015/08/13/prince-law-offices-proud-to-announce-selection-for-epa-chp-partnership/.  The  (EPA) established the CHP Partnership as a voluntary program that promotes efficient CHP technologies across the United States. The Partnership works closely with energy users, the CHP industry, state and local governments, and other clean energy stakeholders to facilitate the development of new projects and to promote their environmental and economic benefits.

A Tentative Order consistent with today’s motion will prompt a 45-day comment period from the date of publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin, followed by 25 days for reply comments. Interested parties can provide written comments to the PUC.

To learn how Prince Law Offices, P.C. can assist you and your business with more reliable electricity and heat and to save money and the environment through CHP or renewable power projects, contact attorney Jeffrey A. Franklin at Prince Law Offices, P.C.

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