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Combined Heat and Power Association

The Combined Heat and Power Association is an organisation dedicated to promoting the wider use of combined heat and power and community heating.


Combined heat and power (CHP) is a technology which efficiently generates both heat and electricity together at the same time. It is already in use in thousands of locations across the UK and all over the world.

What is the Combined Heat and Power Association?

The Combined Heat and Power Association is dedicated to promoting the benefit of simultaneous on-site heat and electricity generation among communities and businesses. In this section, we’re going to take you through how CHP works and the pros and cons of it, before discussing the work that the Combined Heat and Power Association does.

How does CHP work?

When generating electricity, CHP captures heat that would otherwise be left to waste, such as hot water or steam, and uses it for heating, cooling, hot water and numerous industrial processes.

A CHP plant can be used anywhere there’s a use for both electricity and thermal energy and can be found either in an individual building/facility or functioning as a district energy resource. It typically consists of an electrical generator with built-in equipment for recovering and using the heat generated by this generator.

This equipment could be a gas turbine or a reciprocating engine, or it could be a steam turbine which generates power from high-pressure steam produced in a boiler. Some CHP facilities combine these systems.

Why use CHP?

By generating heat and energy simultaneously, CHP can bring down carbon emissions by as much as a third when compared to the conventional method of using power plants and boilers separately. With CHP, a facility’s heating or cooling requirements can be met without the need for a conventional boiler which would require more fuel to be burnt to light it.

As well as reducing a building or facility’s carbon footprint, CHP systems offer a huge opportunity to reduce energy consumption and costs, with those already using CHP recording an average saving of around 20% on their energy spending.

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Here’s a complete list of the advantages of using CHP:

  • Typically offers an efficiency of over 80%
  • Reported saving of around 20% on energy bills
  • Potential 30% reduction in carbon emissions
  • Reduction in distribution and transmission losses
  • Increased fuel supply security

Is there a downside to CHP?

While it is generally considered worth doing for the reasons listed above, CHP is not without its downsides, which the Combined Heat and Power Association works to mitigate.

CHP systems can be said to be:

  • Costly to install
  • Demanding in terms of maintenance
  • Requiring a significant time commitment to set up

Any facility weighing up the possibility of installing CHP systems should be aware of the cost and the importance of proper maintenance of the facility in particular. There are examples of CHP plants that have failed or not met expectations because of a lack of proper supervision or maintenance in the running of them.

What does the Combined Heat and Power Association do?

The Combined Heat and Power Association manages programmes intended to help communities and industries get access to CHP systems and develop their CHP plants. It does this mostly by offering grants to support the cost of developing a CHP plant. Its programmes are funded by Transco and the DETR

The grants it offers are split between residential and industrial programmes:

Residential CHP

The Combined Heat and Power Association offers a number of services and support programmes to help residential households (buildings needing up to 1-2 MWe) in getting set up, such as:

  • Information and advice services.
  • Development support - it will offer up to 50% (up to a max of £10,000) towards feasibility studies and specialist consultation.
  • Capital grants - it will offer up to 25% (up to a maximum of £150,000), typically £30-60k, towards CHP installation costs.
  • Badging grants - around £5,000 to cover monitoring access and publicising for schemes that proceed without a grant.

Small-scale industrial CHP

For small-scale industry, the Combined Heat and Power Association offers all the above types of support except development support. In short, it offers support to “innovative” and “replicable” industrial and commercial CHP schemes that have already undergone a feasibility study.

Contact

To contact the Combined Heat and Power Association about its programmes or with any inquiry relating to CHP, you can call them on 0207 828 4077 or email them at info@chpa.co.uk. You can also get in touch at their postal address: 35/37 Grosvenor Gardens, London, SW1W 0BS.

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