The benefits of micro CHP
Micro-CHP has several benefits, including:
- Electricity generation as a by-product of heat - When the micro-CHP is generating heat, the internal engine or fuel cell will also generate electricity to be used in your home (or exported).
- Carbon savings - By generating electricity on-site you are saving significant amounts of carbon as there are minimal losses occurring as compared with the grid. It has been suggested that a micro CHP system can meet up to half of a home’s electricity demand.
- Financial income - Micro-CHP qualifies for the Feed-in Tariff scheme and you will be able to earn 12.89p for each kWh your system generates. You will also earn 4.64p for each kWh of electricity you export, which with the Generation tariff payment adds up to £210 a year.
- Savings on energy bills - Any electricity generated will be ‘free’ as the fuel would have been burnt to generate heat anyway.
- Installation is easy - Installing a micro-CHP unit is an easy task. Given the electricity generated, an electrician will also be involved with the installation, but this is something the installer will organise.
An average domestic micro CHP system can generate as much as 1kW of electricity per hour when warmed up. This is enough to meet up to 50% of the electricity demand in a typical home.
What to do next?
- What is micro CHP?
- CHP stands for Combined Heat and Power and micro CHP describes a boiler that generates electricity from the waste heat produced by your boiler, suitable for use on a small scale, such as in a domestic home. This allows you to generate some of the your electricity from the same fuel that you are using anyway to heat your home. This is essentially free electricity, and saves energy and CO2 at the same time.
- How long does it take to recoup the additional costs associated with buying a micro CHP boiler (compared with a high-performance boiler)?
- It is expected that the payback will be five years more, although this will depend on many factors, so it is difficult to give a definite answer.
- Are micro CHP boilers suitable for all types of homes?
- In principle, they are, and as the technology is becoming more prevalent there will be more choice from manufacturers to suit various homes better.
- Where can my micro CHP boiler be installed?
- The restrictions are no different to those for a normal boiler. The micro CHP boiler will generally be fitted where your old central heating boiler was. You will need to connect the micro CHP unit to the electricity supply in your house.
- When does a micro CHP unit supply electricity?
- The micro CHP boiler is controlled by a thermostat, just like your current boiler. When the unit's burner is running to heat the house, electricity is generated at the same time. When the burner is not running the unit will not produce electricity.
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