Combined heat and power (CHP) or cogeneration systems are energy efficient, help with resiliency, and could help comply with carbon pollution reduction requirements. CHP, the generation of on-site electricity that captures the waste heat (thermal energy) to provide heating and cooling from a single fuel source, is used at more than 4100 industrial facilities, hospitals, and universities to reduce operating costs and ensure reliability. In Wisconsin, CHP systems are in place statewide from dairies to wastewater treatment plants to paper mills. CHP represents approximately 8% of installed U.S. electric generating capacity and over 12% of total electricity generation (USDOE and USEPA, 2012), but has much greater potential.
Each year, as part of the State Energy Efficiency Scorecard, the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) ranks states on policies that encourage deployment of CHP. ACEEE developed a state-by-state CHP favorability index to get a rough look at the degree to which electricity and gas prices influence the CHP market in a given state. In Wisconsin, where electricity costs are among the highest in the nation, onsite energy generation with CHP is favorable. Among twelve Midwest states, Wisconsin ranked highest on the policy favorability index and among seven with an extremely high level of market favorability for CHP deployment.