An official website of the United States government.

This is not the current EPA website. To navigate to the current EPA website, please go to This website is historical material reflecting the EPA website as it existed on January 19, 2021. This website is no longer updated and links to external websites and some internal pages may not work. More information »

Energy Resources for State and Local Governments

Energy and Environment Guide to Action - Chapter 6: Policy Considerations for Combined Heat and Power

This document is 'Chapter 6: Policy Considerations for Combined Heat and Power' of the Energy and Environment Guide to Action. CHP, also known as cogeneration, is the simultaneous production of electricity and heat from a single fuel source. CHP provides an alternative to purchasing electricity from the local utility and burning fuel in an onsite furnace or boiler to produce thermal energy (such as steam). An industrial, institutional, or commercial facility can instead use CHP to provide both electric and thermal energy services in one energy-efficient step by capturing and using surplus heat that would otherwise be wasted when generating electricity. Due to the increased system efficiency, the CHP system produces the same amount of energy while requiring less fuel; it also produces lower emissions overall than equivalent, separate heat and power systems.

This chapter provides recommendations on designing, implementing, and evaluating combined heat and power. State success stories are included for reference.

You may need a PDF reader to view some of the files on this page. See EPA’s About PDF page to learn more.