If you are looking for additional information and answers to common queries about combined heat and power systems you are in the right place.

Here we provide the answers to some of the most common CHP questions.

3 Considerations Ahead of Implementing a CHP System

There are 3 key factors to consider before implementing a CHP system, all of which are interlinked:

1. The ability to use the heat for heating or hot water throughout most of the year.

For example, a 200-bedroom hotel with a swimming pool would more likely be a very successful application; whereas a 10-bedroom guest house would probably not be viable due to the lack of heat/ hot water demand. CHP provides benefits when applied across a number of industries.  Please ask us for details.

2. Using a significant amount of electricity.

Savings come mostly from reductions in your electricity costs. Therefore, if your electricity spend is not significant to start with, then the potential savings from CHP will be smaller. A viable CHP solution can save many £1,000’s from energy bills every year, but for CHP to deliver optimum savings, existing electricity spend needs to be at least £150,000 – £200,000 p.a.

3. The difference in electricity & gas prices.

CHP burns gas to produce cheap electricity, so the relationship between these two costs is important. This is known as your ‘Spark Ratio’.

I have heard of Spark Ratios. What are they and do I need one?

What is a Spark Ratio? – Sometimes known as the ‘Spark Gap’, this is an industry-standard term for the difference between the prices per kWh of your gas and electricity supplies.

Why is a Spark Ratio Important? – CHP‘s burn natural gas to create less expensive, greener electricity and heat. The cost-saving comes from using a cheaper fuel (gas) to generate electricity on-site, instead of buying it from the grid. The cheaper your gas and the dearer your electricity, the greater your savings will be on a CHP system.

How much does CHP installation cost?

Each project is bespoke to the requirements of the client. Shenton Group is vastly experienced in the delivery of effective CHP systems that will help customers to reduce their carbon footprint and cut their energy bills, but CHP installation costs will depend on the project.

Speak to our team of experts to learn more about CHP installation costs for your organisation. You can discover more about CHP generators here. 

Why are Gas and Electricity bills so important when considering combined heat and power? (CHP)

The best way to determine if CHP is appropriate for your site is to provide us with your last 12 months of gas and electricity bills. We prefer copies of the actual bills because they tell the whole story. We take your bills and run a free, no-obligation desktop study to determine CHP suitability. If you are unsure if CHP would be a viable solution, give us a quick call and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have.

Typically what savings can be made with a CHP generator? 

Savings depend on your spark ratio and the amount of heating/electricity you are currently using and will potentially use in the future. Savings of circa £40,000 per annum are possible with a medium-sized CHP system and savings of £100,000 or more per-year are achievable on larger applications.  Savings all depend on individual circumstances and for larger industrial schemes, substantially more can be saved.

View our blog post about the financial savings that a CHP system can bring.

Do I need planning permission for a CHP system?

This is not normally needed unless your CHP installation is in an area where the public view of your building may be affected.

Often, the unit can be installed indoors if existing space permits. With any development planning, you should always check with your local planning department and Shenton Group will always provide photographs and CAD drawings when required. Compliance with building regulations and other standards, such as air quality requirements, will always be mandatory.

What about CHP maintenance?

Our CHP maintenance contracts are charged based on run hours which provides an incentive to ensure that maximum run hours are achieved to ensure the fastest ROI for you.

Bespoke Contracts
We can offer fixed-cost contracts that use a more all-inclusive approach, or lower-cost contracts where extras are chargeable. Whatever your standard and budget, we have a solution to suit.

The Infinium24 maintenance package
Shenton Group carries-out all of the servicing, provides all of the parts, all of the labour and conducts any call outs, all for a guaranteed fixed cost. There is literally nothing else to pay.

Shenton Group takes complete responsibility for all of the upkeep and all of the potential risks fall on us. We even replace critical components on a time-life basis to ensure your unit remains as-new throughout its lifespan. We also provide real-time remote monitoring and control, something our engineers use to sustain the system in a state of optimum performance. The client has open access to monitoring reports, providing transparency and peace-of-mind.

No Hidden Costs
Maintenance costs are not hidden away within the pricing. They are factored in at the very first feasibility stage and are always fully visible to the client. All savings and payback figures quoted include maintenance so that what you see is what you get. The savings are truly yours to keep.

Does my CHP need to be connected to the National Grid?

To have your own CHP system generating your own electricity on-site normally requires it to be synchronised with the mains electricity grid. This is so it can run in conjunction with your incoming supply. We take care of this whole process for you, supplying the equipment to harmoniously link up to the grid.

Your electricity network operator will require a G59 mains protection relay to be installed. This protects your CHP system from trying to power the wider area in the event of a power cut. We provide this for you and take care of the application to the network operator, along with the subsequent installation and testing.

What’s the typical return on my investment with CHP?

A Shenton Group CHP system is one of the biggest single steps you can take towards reducing your energy bills. The Use of Capital Employed is impressive, and the Return On Investment even more so.

For example, a client located at a very suitable site where the electricity was expensive and the gas cheap, along with a constant demand for hot water all year round, could expect a £40,000 saving per-year on an installed cost of £120,000.

Site circumstances vary enormously, but in this real-world example, the client company had its investment repaid in 3 years. Thereafter, the savings continued at circa £40,000 per annum, which is a very respectable improvement to the bottom line.

What effect will CHP have on my carbon footprint?

Installing CHP is one of the biggest single actions you can take to reduce your carbon footprint. Electricity is a carbon-intensive fuel and significant losses in the power station/national grid network mean that its supply to you is very inefficient.

By contrast, a CHP system generating your own heat and electricity on-site is more efficient and one of the most significant indicators of this is the amount of carbon saved. In many cases, this is so successful that various forms of funding and/or tax relief are available.

Is CHP Renewable Energy? 

Although not renewable, more energy is produced from the same emissions which mean CHP is considered a green technology. 

CHP makes the most of fossil fuels or biomass and reduces the wastage involved, so more energy is produced from the same emissions.

Generating electricity and heat in the same process is very efficient when compared to how many organisations access heat and power from separate sources offsite.

How do I qualify for external funding for a CHP?

There are a wide variety of external financial benefits ranging from CCL relief, through Enhanced Capital Allowances, to fully-funded schemes such as Discount Energy Purchasing or Power Purchase Agreements. However, this is a complex field and suitability varies from one type of client to another.  Contact us with your requirements and we’ll be glad to advise.

Do I need a survey before proceeding with a CHP System? 

Yes. No two systems are the same. Shenton Group will conduct a free site survey and make recommendations on the most viable solution for your specific application. Get in touch today!

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