CHP Resources

Federal and State Support for CHP

In addition to widespread support for energy efficiency improvements from businesses seeking energy cost savings, there is a renewed focus and advocacy coming from the federal and state governments, non-profits and energy think tanks to promote distributed generation and CHP in particular.

Below we have provided an overview of these initiatives and resource links to the relevant reports:


March 2011
Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES – formerly the PEW Center on Global Climate Change) issued the following review and resource guide for CHP. Click here to view the PDF.
March 2012
State of the Union Address, President Obama said “We can’t have an energy strategy for the last century that traps us in the past. We need an energy strategy for the future – an all-of-the-above strategy for the 21st century that develops every source of American-made energy.”  Natural gas based generation was highlighted as part of the solution. Click here to view the full “all of the above energy strategy” outlined by the President.
August 2012
As a legislative  follow-on to that statement, the White House issued the following Executive Order calling for an increase of 40GW of CHP by 2022, a 50% increase over current CHP generation. Click here to view the PDF.
August 2012
The DOE and EPA subsequently issued a report supporting this Executive Order, “Combined Heat and Power, A Clean Energy Solution.” Click here to view the PDF.
The National Association of State Energy Officials (“NASEO”) issued the following resource guide for State energy officials “CHP : A Resource Guide for State Energy Officials” ; this guide provides an overview of CHP as related to energy planning, energy reliability, state energy policy, tax, Portfolio Standards, utility regulation, environmental benefits and financing alternatives to encourage CHP development. Click here to view the PDF.
March 2013
With 50% of U.S. boiler population greater than 10MMBtu/hr at least 40 years old CHP represents an attractive alternative, the EPA CHP Partnership issued the following Fact Sheet “CHP as a Boiler Replacement Opportunity” focused on the cost and environmental benefits of CHP. Click here to view the PDF.
April 2013
NRDC White Paper – “CHP: Improving the Energy Efficiency of Our Manufacturing Plants, Buildings, and Other Facilities” provides Case Studies in how CHP save companies money on their energy bills, drive business competitiveness and economic growth and jobs, enhance grid reliability and flexibility, and helps protect public health and the environment. The case studies featured in this report illustrate, CHP systems are extremely versatile and can be used in a spectrum of industries—advanced manufacturing, food processing, health care, chemical and primary metal production—and facilities including data centers, hotels, multifamily housing, district energy, landfills, and farms. Click here to view the PDF.
May 2013
ICF International prepared a report for the American Gas Association “The Opportunity for CHP in the United States” evaluates state economic potential of CHP that could be served by natural gas local distribution companies. The study indicates that more than 40 GW of potential CHP could achieve a 10-year payback or less.  The report includes a history of CHP development, characteristics of CHP, discussions of emerging drivers, recent market trends, and suggestions on how utilities, policy makers and other stakeholder groups can work together to overcome technical and regulatory barriers to enable the wider adoption of CHP in the U.S. Click here to view the ICF report or click here to view AGA follow-on Webinar.
September 2013
With wide-spread and lasting power outages, Hurricane Sandy highlighted the vulnerabilities and limitations of our current electrical grid; in response, the DOE + EPA issued “Guide to Using Combined Heat and Power for Enhancing Reliability and Resiliency in Buildings.” Click here to view the PDF.
October 2013
U.S. DOE launched seven new CHP Technical Assistance Partnerships to promote and assist in transforming the market for CHP, waste heat to power, and district energy technologies and concepts in the U.S. Click here to view the PDF.
June 2014
As CHP is becoming more mainstream in building design for LEED certification, the EPA CHP Partnership issued the following Draft Fact Sheet “Treatment of CHP in LEED Building Design + Construction: New Construction.”  Click here to view the PDF.
July 2014
American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (“ACEEE”) a nonprofit, that acts as a catalyst to advance energy efficiency policies, programs, technologies, investments, and behaviors issued the following “CHP and Clean Distributed Energy Policies” recommendations to help speed the adoption of CHP. Click here to view the PDF.

EPA CHP Partnership is a voluntary program seeking to reduce the environmental impact of power generation by promoting the use of CHP. The Partnership works closely with energy users, the CHP industry, state and local governments, and other clean energy stakeholders to facilitate the development of new projects and to promote their environmental and economic benefits. Unison Energy is a member of the EPA CHP Partneship. Click here to link to their website.


At the state level, there are an increasing number of initiatives for clean and renewable energy; these are usually effected through State level “Energy Portfolio Standards”.  There are three main types of portfolio standards:

Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) or Clean Energy Standards (CES) are designed to increase the contribution of renewable energy and clean energy to the electric supply mix. They are focused on typical renewable energy sources (wind, solar, hydro, geothermal, biomass) and often include clean energy technologies such as CHP. Some states maintain a broad RPS definition under which renewable fueled (bio-gas or bio diesel) CHP systems qualify. Most States have stated goals of sourcing from 10 to 40% of their energy needs from renewables by 2020:

Energy Efficiency Resource Standards (EERS) are designed to meet an energy savings goal through energy efficiency. Usually focused on end-use energy savings but some include other efficiency measures, such as, CHP, or other high efficiency distributed generation, or distribution system improvements.

Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards (APS) are hybrid standards developed to allow energy efficiency to qualify within a RPS or a CES and do so either through targets for a certain percentage of a supplier’s capacity (MW) or generation (MWh) to come from sources such as CHP, coal with carbon capture and storage, or waste-to-energy projects using municipal solid waste.

As of December 2012, some form of portfolio standards had been established in 42 states and the District of Columbia. Out of these states, 26 specifically call out CHP and/or waste heat-to-power (WHP) as eligible under their RPS, EERS, or APS program guidelines.


S. 2074: Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act of 2014 (Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio);  The original 2013 Shaheen-Portman bill contained provisions on building codes, industrial efficiency, and federal agency efficiency that would cut energy costs, enhance energy security, and reduce emissions. The new 2014 package has been amended to bring the benefits of energy efficiency to schools, households, and businesses across the country. The new bill is estimated to save Americans $16.2 billion annually, create 192,000 jobs, and avoid 95 million metric tons of CO2 —the equivalent of taking 22 million cars off the road—by 2030.  Click here to view the full ACEEE 2013 Economic Impact White Paper or click here to see 2014 updated summary facts.