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

Is it possible to return any excess electricity produced by a micro CHP unit to the grid?
Yes, it is possible to return surplus electricity produced by a micro CHP unit to the grid - you will receive Feed-In Tariff Export tariff payments for doing so if you have your system installed by an MCS accredited engineer and sign up to the scheme.
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.
Can my home be disconnected from the National grid if I use a micro CHP unit?
No, the house will need to remain connected to the main supply - the unit won't be able to meet all of your electricity needs. As the micro CHP boiler is a gas-fired boiler, the gas connection must also remain in place.
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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