How Cogeneration Can Help Your Business Save Money and Energy

Back to Industry Insights
Cogeneration Solutions

Combined heat and power (CHP) solutions can provide more cost-effective and environmentally-friendly energy for businesses as well as homeowners. With increasing scrutiny being placed on businesses in terms of their energy usage and carbon footprint, CHP solutions (also known as cogeneration) could be an effective way to ensure your business lowers fuel consumption and benefits from more cost-efficient energy supplies.

What Is Cogeneration?

CHP or cogeneration refers to the combined production of power and heat, as opposed to the separate generation of electricity and heat. Traditionally, heat and electricity were produced in isolation, with end-users, such as businesses, using varying sources for each element.

With the introduction of cogeneration, however, both electricity and heat can be produced using just one fuel, as opposed to multiple fuels. Sometimes used interchangeably with trigeneration, cogeneration can also refer to the simultaneous production of combined cooling, heat and power (CCHP), effectively reducing the need for three separate fuel sources.

When electricity is produced via a CHP system, heating and cooling is a by-product of the energy generation. By ensuring this excess heat and cooling system is used, as opposed to being wasted, cogeneration solutions enable end-users to minimize or eradicate their reliance on any other sources of fuel.

As a result, CHP solutions can significantly reduce the fuel consumption of businesses.  While cogeneration isn’t a source of energy, it is an effective system in producing the maximum amount of energy from every unit of fuel it processes. As such, cogeneration solutions for businesses can drastically reduce their fuel costs and consumption.

Benefits Of Cogeneration

Cogeneration solutions for industries offer a variety of benefits, most of which can be categorized as either environmental or financial benefits. With companies always eager to reduce costs and compelled to minimize their fuel consumption, CHP benefits provide an attractive opportunity to achieve these objectives.

Environmental Benefits

As cogeneration systems can use various different fuels to produce energy, they can be widely adopted across numerous sectors, which means the environmental benefits associated with CHP will reach across industries too.

Perhaps one of the most revolutionary environmental benefits of CHP is the minimal amount of waste produced. Traditional or conventional systems or power plants can typically convert around 45% of their input into useable, which means over half of their fuel input is effectively wasted. In comparison, cogeneration converts around 75-80% of its input into energy and ensures that the heat produced as a by-product is used, rather than wasted, thus highlighting how much more efficient newer CHP systems are.

As less fuel is being wasted, companies that use CHP systems will drastically reduce their fuel consumption and, therefore, the subsequent emissions produced. With the potential to reduce fuel usage by a significant amount, if cogeneration was accepted industry-wide, emissions could be cut almost immediately, and their harmful effect on the environment would be significantly reduced also.

Additional Read: 20 Ways to Go Green at Work

Financial Benefits

Cogeneration services can save businesses money in a variety of ways. Firstly, their reduced fuel consumption means that the end-user will require less fuel to obtain the same amount of energy, thus minimizing their energy bills. In addition to this, end-users may be able to switch their fuel usage to a cheaper option, such as natural gas, thus reducing their costs further.

Once a CHP system has been installed, the end-user will be less reliant on the National Grid and, therefore, less vulnerable to the price changes to the cost of electricity. With the CHP system using fuel more effectively and producing more energy, the end-user simply doesn’t need to purchase as much electricity, meaning their costs will fall accordingly.

While end-users, such as businesses, will need to purchase fuel to operate a CHP system, the variety of fuel options further protects the user from price changes within the market. If an end-user is relying on coal as fuel, for example, they could switch to natural gas or biomass in order to obtain further savings.

Capital costs can also be reduced by switching to cogeneration, as end-users will not need to fund the cost of replacing heating equipment. Depending on the size or structure of the building, regular maintenance can be extremely costly. If businesses are able to access heat from an alternative source, such as a CHP system, they won’t need to invest so heavily, or at all, in their traditional heating system, thus eradicating these costs from their budget.

When considering CHP benefits, it’s also important to note that cogeneration could offer increased protection of revenue streams, particularly in the event of a natural disaster or interrupted power supplies. As end-users can opt to produce energy on-site, they can continue operations even if national power supplies fail or are interrupted. As a result, revenue streams remain unaffected and the end-user does not lose income.

With increased reliability, benefits to the environment and reduced costs, cogeneration services are changing the way businesses operate. The benefits associated with cogeneration solutions for industries are simply too abundant to ignore, particularly in light of the pressure on companies to adopt more environmentally-friendly processes.

Why Your Industry Should Choose CHP

Making the switch to cogeneration isn’t a difficult choice. Every industry can reap the rewards of cogeneration benefits, and the vast majority of companies and businesses will notice a significant reduction in their outgoings once a CHP system has been installed.

As well as improving the company’s bottom line, cogeneration can boost the end-user’s reputation and green credentials too. Businesses across all sectors are coming under fire due to their fuel usage and emissions output. With many industries now implementing emissions targets, businesses could face costly sanctions or fines if they continue to rely on wasteful energy production methods.

here are various government incentives to motivate businesses to minimize the harmful effect they have on the environment. If your industry switches to CHP systems, your business could directly benefit from incentives currently available.

Furthermore, the rise of climate change awareness is leading many consumers to actively choose brands and companies who have well-established green credentials. If industries embrace cogeneration, they can effectively reduce their carbon footprint, and avoid facing emissions-related fines or sanctions. In addition to this, companies can publicize the changes they’re making, and boost their reputation in the process. As increasing numbers of consumers demand industrial change, your industry can lead the way in adopting cheaper and cleaner energy production.

Our Cogeneration (CHP) Services At Verde Solutions

With a range of cogeneration services available, we can provide advice, assistance and practical expertise to businesses across all industries. Whether you want to establish on-site energy generation or use a centralized CHP system to access energy, we can provide the cogeneration services you require.

Currently, cogeneration is most suited to businesses that operate for more than 3,000 hours each year or those that are planning to upgrade, change or expand their sites. If you operate for more than 3,000 hours per year, it’s likely that you’re using a significant amount of fuel to produce the requisite amount of energy. If so, you could notice a dramatic decrease in the cost of running your business, and so the benefits of CHP will be visible straight away. For companies that are planning to modify their existing sites, now could be the perfect time to make the switch to an alternative energy production system.

For additional peace of mind, we can complement our cogeneration services with alternative input materials, so that you will have a back-up to rely on. CHP systems can be integrated with solar technology, and other types of technology, to ensure that you’ll always have access to a source of energy, even if your usual fuel source becomes unavailable. With this extra protection from interrupted operations, you can rely on cogeneration to deliver effective energy production around the clock.

For businesses and industries who want to be more energy resilient and more energy efficient, cogeneration provides a simple and straightforward way of achieving these aims. Similarly, our cogeneration services enable businesses to reduce their costs significantly and have a positive impact on your bottom line.

Depending on your specific requirements, our CHP services will enable you to access electricity, heating and/or cooling at a reduced cost, while minimizing your impact on the environment too. With many companies struggling to find cost-effective ways to reduce their fuel consumption and emissions, cogeneration provides an effective way to meet the demands of environmental regulations and enables your business to operate more sustainably.

Reaping The Benefits Of Cogeneration 

It’s clear that cogeneration provides an appropriate and effective alternative to traditional methods of energy generation. While many businesses have pondered whether cogeneration could be right for them, the visible benefits of CHP systems have highlighted the financial and environmental incentives associated with this method of energy production. For businesses and industries who want to build a sustainable future, they only question remaining is, when will you make the switch to energy-efficient cogeneration solutions?

About Verde Solutions

Verde Solutions is full service, energy efficiency consultant firm founded on three main principles; Innovation, Sustainability, and Efficiency. At Verde, we create value for our clients and communities by providing innovative energy efficient solutions. By reducing energy use and utilizing renewable energy, we lower costs and set a sustainable path for the future