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 savings do micro CHP boilers produce?
- Overall, micro CHP boilers use slightly more gas than standard boilers. However, the micro CHP generates enough electricity that total energy costs are reduced by 20%. Moreover, carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions per unit of electricity generated are over 50% lower than if the same amount of electricity were to be generated by a large power station.
- 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.
- What happens to the electricity that is generated by a micro CHP boiler that I don't use?
- Surplus electricity is returned to the electricity grid. You can receive payments for this electricity through the Feed-In Tariff scheme if your installation is carried out by an MCS certified installer - find out more about this on our Feed-In Tariff pages.
- What can I do with any electricity produced by the micro CHP unit that I don't use?
- Any surplus electricity you don't use can be exported back to the electricity grid. Your energy supplier can pay you what is called a Feed-in Tariff for every kWh of electricity generated and exported back to the electricity grid. And best of all, it is tax-free and inflation linked. Visit our Feed-In Tariff pages for more information on the scheme.
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