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For our blog post this week, we welcome and thank contributor Steven G. Cook, who is Business Development Director for UGI Utilities, Inc.

Combined heat and power (CHP) is an efficient, economical way to generate electric power and useful thermal energy from one fuel source. CHP uses a power system (engine, turbine, etc.), and a heat recovery system—typically a hot water loop—located at or near the company’s facility. CHP systems are considered to be very environmentally friendly. They produce clean energy, recover waste heat, and offer a single source for both heat and power. Instead of wasting heat that is created from generating electricity, it is captured and utilized in different ways. CHP systems are a smart economic choice for commercial customers.

One example of a large commercial business utilizing CHP is CityCenter in Las Vegas. CityCenter includes a resort and casino, two non-gaming hotels, residential buildings, and a large retail and dining facility. The CHP unit at CityCenter captures waste heat and uses it to heat water and pools at the facility.

Closer to home, Seaford High School in Dover, DE is the first non-utility in the state of Delaware to have a gas-fired co-generation system. The CHP system was instituted to help keep operating costs down during a high school expansion project. The heat produced by the electric power is reused to heat the building and also provides 40 tons of chilled water. Through onsite electric generation, the school is able to save between $50,000 and $60,000 each year in energy costs.

Despite the challenge of high costs, CHP offers a great option for large businesses. CHP is encouraged by the government, supported by the American Gas Association, and is quickly growing in popularity. Some states even have grant money in place to help interested companies institute a co-generation system.

For more information on combined heat and power, check out UGI Utilities website at www.ugi.com/chp.

Steven G. Cook, Business Development Director SCook@UGI.com