Combined heat and power (CHP) integrates the production of usable heat and power (electricity), in one single efficient process. This is a process which could be beneficial for commercial energy generation (and can be used in both fossil fuel and renewable energy plants), but can also be applied domestically and is suitable for larger houses with greater difficulty insulating.
This is a technology that is a little different and is strictly not a renewable source. It involves installation of a new boiler which produces heat and hot water, as in a normal domestic set-up, but in addition, generates electricity using some of the waste heat. One boiler quotes that while generating 6kW of heat it generates an additional 1 kW of electricity that can be used when the boiler is running: it will thus reduce the electricity you consume off the national grid.
A typical installation might cost £8-10,000 to install. The feed in tariff is available for a limited time and currently is at 13p per kWh of electricity generated.
- There are fewer of these installations around and so being sure your installer is MCS registered and can provide references from other installations is important.
- The value of installing will depend on whether you already have a gas condensing boiler (in which case it may not be worth it) or whether you have to replace your boiler anyway, in which case this is worth considering.
- Probably not worth considering for 3 bed homes or smaller.
If you’ve installed a combined heat and power system, we’d love to hear about your experiences – both good and bad. Please get in touch!