The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is recognizing three facilities with the Energy Star Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Award for superior performance of their CHP systems. High-efficiency CHP technology reduces emissions of carbon dioxide and other air pollutants.  CHP captures the heat produced when electricity is generated and utilizes that heat—which would otherwise be wasted—to efficiently provide space heating, cooling, hot water, and steam for commercial, institutional and industrial use.

“Today’s award winners are advancing the President’s commitment to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from the nation’s electric power supply system,” said EPA Assistant Administrator Janet McCabe. “These winners have found CHP to be a powerful way to save money and better protect our health and climate.”

These three 2015 award winners demonstrate how CHP can partner with district energy systems to reduce pollutant emissions from electricity generation.  District energy systems produce steam, hot water and chilled water at a central plant, which are piped underground to individual buildings for space heating, hot water heating and air conditioning.

The CHP Awards were presented today to the following facilities at the International District Energy Association’s 106th Annual Conference and Trade Show in Boston, Mass.:

  • Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Maine
  • Pepco Energy Systems, Atlantic City, N.J.
  • Thermal Energy Corporation (TECO), Houston, Texas

Bowdoin College installed its CHP system to achieve the goal of eliminating carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions by 2020.  The system provides space heating and hot water heating for 56 buildings totaling 1.4 million square feet. Bowdoin College reports they save $138,000 a year with their system.

Pepco Energy Systems’ Midtown Thermal Control Center uses the heat from electricity generation to provide space heating and cooling to buildings through an energy system that serves Atlantic City’s tourist district. The system also supplies efficiently produced electricity to the grid, with fewer emissions of carbon dioxide and other air pollutants than conventional grid-supplied electricity.

CHP is instrumental to TECO’s sustainability strategy, which seeks to reduce emissions and ensure continuous heating and cooling to the Texas Medical Center’s 19.3 million square feet in the world’s largest medical complex.  TECO believes that the best sustainability efforts reduce emissions by maximizing the efficiency of converting fuel to useful energy. TECO reports savings of six to $12 million annually.

These CHP systems achieved operating efficiencies of 68 to 86 percent, much higher than the efficiency of separate production of electricity and thermal energy (typically less than 50 percent). Based on this comparison, the CHP systems avoid carbon pollution equal to that from the generation of electricity used by more than 6,700 homes.  With these systems, today’s award winners are helping to advance the President’s goal of reducing carbon dioxide emissions from the nation’s electric power supply system.