Costs, savings and maintenance

Typically the cost quoted for a micro CHP installation is in the region of £4,000-£6,000, however there are a number of variables and few organisations will commit to a firm price without a site survey and investigation. The first 30,000 individuals to have systems fitted will qualify for the Feed-In Tariff - so if you think that this technology will work for you, you should hurry!

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Costs and Savings

Typical installed costs for a micro CHP installation are around £4,000- £6,000. An average system can meet half of an average home’s electricity demands, saving you £60-£200 on your yearly bill depending on your heat demand. It also reduces carbon dioxide emissions by up to 1.5 tonnes per year, a real contribution towards tackling the effects of global warming. That’s around 20% less carbon dioxide per household.

Micro CHP systems qualify for payment through the government’s Feed-In Tariff scheme. Under the scheme, a typical system can generate £180 a year through the Generation Tariff and £30 a year through the Export Tariff. These payments are at a fixed tariff rate linked to inflation and will be paid for ten years. The lifetime of the system is at least fifteen years and the payback for the system is around the same. If you can’t afford the upfront costs of installing a micro CHP system you can get a loan through the Green Deal finance scheme, which is paid back through your savings on your electricity bill. For more information about the Green Deal visit our Green Deal page.

Micro-CHP systems should always be installed and run to meet the heating needs of the building, rather than to generate more heat than is needed just to meet electricity demand. The electricity generated should be treated as a useful by-product of heat generation. For this reason, electricity will only be generated when there is a heat demand.

Maintenance

The maintenance requirements are similar to those of any ordinary boiler – although a specialist will be required. It should be serviced once a year to maintain operational efficiency, performance and gas safety. Manufacturers claim that Free Piston Stirling Engines are hermetically sealed and are designed to operate for at least 15 years.

The day to day running of a micro CHP system will also be the same as for a conventional boiler except that there is generally a device such as an LCD display to show how much electricity has been generated.

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FAQs

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.
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.
Will the unit use less gas than a high-performance boiler?
By using the micro CHP boiler, gas consumption will increase a little despite waste heat being used to generate the electricity. However, on balance you will still save energy, as you can generate a significant amount of electrcity suing the system.
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.
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