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Energy and the Environment

Combined Heat and Power

About CHP

Typically, nearly two-thirds of the energy used to generate electricity is wasted in the form of heat discharged to the atmosphere. 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 than can be used for space heating, cooling, domestic hot water and industrial processes. 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).

In the U.S. CHP is used in factories, apartment buildings, and commercial/institutional buildings such as offices, hospitals and universities, as well as in municipal applications such as waste water treatment facilities and swimming pools.  CHP’s principal benefits are reduced electricity cost, reduced emissions of greenhouse gases and other pollutants, and increased electricity-supply reliability.

EPA’s Combined Heat and Power Partnership

The CHP Partnership seeks to reduce the environmental impacts of electric power generation by promoting the use of CHP.  The Partnership works closely with energy users; the CHP industry; state, local, and tribal governments; clean air officials; and other clean energy stakeholders to facilitate the development of new projects.

The CHP Partnership provides:

  • Information about CHP and its benefits
  • Technical tools and resources such as the Catalog of CHP Technologies and the CHP Emissions Calculator
  • Information about state and federal CHP policies and incentives
  • Guidance on CHP project development
  • Energy Star CHP Awards
  • CHP news and webinars

The Partnership welcomes the following types of organizations as Partners:

  • CHP project developers, consultants/engineers, and equipment manufacturers
  • Energy end users in the industrial, commercial, district energy, and multi-family residential sectors
  • Clean air officials
  • Energy, environmental, and economic development agencies
  • Utilities
  • Policy advocates
  • Financiers

To learn more about CHP please visit EPA’s Combined Heat and Power Partnership Web site.