Combined Heat and Power

What is CHP?

Combined Heat and Power (CHP), sometimes referred to as cogeneration, is an advanced and highly-efficient approach to generating electric power and useful thermal energy from a single fuel right at the point of use. Every CHP application involves recovering otherwise-wasted thermal energy and putting it to use for heating, cooling, process thermal energy, or electricity. Instead of purchasing electricity from the distribution grid and burning fuel in an on-site furnace or boiler to produce thermal energy, CHP provides both energy services to a facility in one energy-efficient step. 

CHP is a suite of commercially available, predominantly gas-fired distributed generation technologies that produce both electricity and thermal energy on-site, thereby reducing line losses and strain on grid infrastructure while also increasing energy efficiency, reliability, and security. The technology can be deployed quickly, cost-effectively, and with few geographic limitations and can use a variety of fuels, both fossil- and renewable-based. 

CHP may not be widely recognized outside industrial, commercial, institutional, and utility circles, but it has been providing highly-efficient electricity and process heat to some of the most vital industries and largest employers, urban centers, and campuses across the globe. For example, CHP already supplies over 10% of the electricity in the U.S., and can easily supply more. CHP helps businesses and communities reduce their energy costs, improve efficiency, reduce emissions, and strengthen their energy resiliency and reliability.

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The Department of Energy’s Combined Heat and Power Technical Assistance Partnerships (CHP TAPS) promote and assist in transforming the market for CHP, waste to heat power, and district energy technologies/concepts throughout the United States. The CHP TAPs provide resources and expertise to help industrial, commercial, federal, institutional and other large energy users consider and evaluate CHP for their facilities. The CHP TAPs also assist them throughout the project development process, from initial CHP screening to installation. CHP TAP staff also work with engineers, architects, city planners, project developers, state agencies and policymakers to increase understanding and awareness of CHP including its technology, benefits, applications, regulatory requirements and other project-specific information.


The IFMA Environmental Stewardship Utilities and Sustainability Community (ESUS) has partnered with the Houston Advanced Research Center (HARC), a team that supports the Department of Energy’s Upper-West and Southcentral CHP TAP to develop a pilot program for chapters located in those regions and the Academic Facilities Council, Data Center Facilities Community, Health Care Institute, Hospitality Council, and Manufacturing, Industrial and Logistics Council to make the following resources available to members:

  • Technical assistance and engineering support to manufacturing, commercial, institutional, and federal facilities and campuses interested in exploring CHP including no cost project screening and advanced services
  • Engagement with strategic stakeholders, including regulators, utilities and policy makers, to identify and reduce the barriers to using CHP to advance regional efficiency
  • Education, tools and resources. Program overview, Case studies, fact sheets are readily available as well as customized webinars, reports and workshops. 

ESUS is committed to providing the FM community with tools, resources and a deeper understanding of the technologies that can help meet sustainability, resilience and other requirements.

For more information, please contact:
Dean Stanberry, CFM, LEED AP O+M, ESUS Chair
Gavin Dillingham, PhD, DOE Upper-West and Southcentral CHP TAP Director