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The Combined Heat and Power Association, commonly known as the CHPA, is the leading advocate of an integrated approach to delivering energy services using combined heat and power and district heating and cooling.

As an industry leader, the CHPA brings together interested parties from across the sector to develop a strong, dynamic and sustainable environment for combined heat and power and district heating and cooling technologies.

The CHPA engage with associated industries in a bid to achieve their vision of decarbonising the heat sector in the most efficient way. The CHPA has two core teams that address policy, regulation and market development.

The CHPA was founded as the District Heating Association in 1966 with the aim of publicising the social, health and welfare benefits of district heating. CHPA has worked closely with Government since its early days and has consistently provided a hub for suppliers, customers, policy makers and local authorities to share experience, make connections and build an active and responsible sector.

The company has changed a great deal since 1966: the environmental challenge of climate change has been recognised and has come to the forefront of political, public sector and commercial decision making. Technologies have developed and continue to emerge: gas-fired CHP is now accompanied by biomass, biogas, anaerobic digestion, energy from waste, fuel cells; a growing list of new and exciting systems. Even the Association’s name has changed; becoming the CHPA in 1985.

The Association remains dedicated to tackling fuel poverty and poor health caused by inadequate domestic heating. Energy prices are increasing and the country’s future is one where fossil fuel supplies will be costly and scarce. The work of the CHPA is therefore more relevant than ever in helping people to understand the many benefits of an integrated approach to delivering energy.

The work of the firm’s teams varies from month to month in response to Government and industry. Their work currently includes Code of Practice for Heat Network, Bespoke CHP Policy, Carbon Price Floor relief and Carbon Price Floor Campaign and DCLG proposals affecting district heating and small scale CHP Campaign.

CHPA also deal with Energy Bills, Capacity Market, Pre-accreditation and the Renewable Heat Incentive, Electricity market access, value and the future of energy system. CHPA also has an Independent Heat Customer Protection Scheme and The Alliance for Energy Management.

Through its work with Government and other key bodies, the Association provides an influential voice for its members. Through its efforts, the CHPA has become one of the most prominent leaders to shape the debate around the decarbonisation of heat.  The firm shapes debate via numerous consultation responses covering a wide range of topics, as well as being led by the Government’s consultation process. Having a unified voice is crucial to submitting a solid response and so the company regularly consults with their members to gain their perspective on key issues which feed into the final report.

Thought pieces and research allow the Association to explore the issue of decarbonising heat in more depth and generate facts and ideas to inform the debate. CHPA also regularly issue press releases following policy or regulatory announcements which give an outline on the industry’s response and the direction of the associations work.

What is CHP?

Combined heat and power integrates the production of usable heat and power in one single, highly efficient process. CHP generates electricity whilst also capturing usable heat that is produced in this process. This contrasts with conventional ways of generating electricity where vast amounts of heat is simply wasted. In today’s coal and gas fired power stations, up to two thirds of the overall energy consumed is lost in this way, often seen as a cloud of steam rising from cooling towers.

Their relative sophistication means that the overall efficiency of CHP plants can reach in excess of 80% at the point of use. This compares with the efficiency of CCGTs, which in the UK range between 49% and 52%. Coal-fired plant fare less well with an efficiency of around 38%.

As an energy generation process, CHP is fuel neutral meaning that a CHP process can be applied to both renewable and fossil fuels. The specific technologies employed, and the efficiencies they achieve will vary, but in every situation CHP offers the capability to make more efficient and effective use of valuable primary energy resources.

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