A burgeoning technology has the potential to revolutionize the way homeowners get their power and heat. Micro-combined heat and power (micro-CHP) systems eliminate the efficiency losses from the traditional electric grid by generating power on site and capturing the engine’s heat to produce hot water. That allows the total efficiency of micro-CHP units to surpass even the most efficient boilers and significantly reduce harmful emissions, writes Bryan Cordill, director of residential and commercial business development for the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC).

“Notably, the micro-CHP unit can reduce a home’s carbon dioxide emissions by nearly 50 percent, or 4.2 tons of carbon dioxide per year,” he writes in Plumbing Perspective. “Additionally, propane models reduce nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions by 13 percent compared with natural gas and 50 percent compared with electric.”

CHP systems are available in a variety of capacities for different project types, ranging from single-family homes to large commercial and industrial projects. A 1–3 kW micro-CHP unit would be ideal for an 1,800- to 2,500-square-foot home, and the energy savings can be considerable over time based on factors such as home size, location, and local energy costs. To learn more about CHP sizing and where the technology works best, check out our new brochure, Heat & Power: An Unbeatable Combination.

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