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CIBSE Policy Statement on CHP

Combined Heat & Power (CHP) is a highly fuel efficient technology which generates electricity and puts to good use heat which would otherwise be wasted. It is already widely used in UK buildings and in the right circumstances is a very cost effective means of meeting a given energy demand. CHP also reduces harmful emissions to the environment.

It is CIBSE's policy to encourage Institution members to consider CHP for use in all suitable applications. This is in line with current CIBSE policy statements on energy and global warming and also the Government's target of 10,000MWe of installed CHP capacity by the year 2010.

CHP systems can contribute to space heating, domestic hot water and cooling requirements. They can be installed as a retrofit measure in existing buildings or as part of new building work. CHP can also satisfy some or all of the standby generation needs of a site.

To ensure a successful installation and to maximise energy and cost savings, the following points should be considered when evaluating CHP:

  • Simple no cost and low cost energy saving measures should always be considered as a means of reducing energy wastage before sizing CHP plant. CHP design should be fully integrated with the site's electrical and thermal demands and other plant.
  • The need for proper maintenance of plant to ensure reliable operation and to minimise environmental emissions is essential. Significant financial savings arise when CHP is appropriately installed since energy is provided at a much higher efficiency than conventional means of supply.
  • In evaluating performance criteria for buildings it is important to recognise that with CHP, primary energy savings arise on a national basis, rather than on an individual site.
  • Comparing CHP systems with other ways of providing a given heating and electrical requirement should, therefore, be done on the basis of primary energy and cost savings.