When a power plant generates power, it also generates massive amounts of heat. Though that heat is a valuable resource, it is typically rejected as waste and dumped into rivers or lakes or vented into the air. In other words, it's lost.
Instead of wasting that heat, combined heat and power (CHP) systems use it: as steam in industrial processes; as hot water for domestic needs; as space heating in the winter. In capturing more of a fuel's energy content, these systems generate energy that is far more cost-effective and far cleaner than non-CHP systems. And since CHP systems are located near the point of consumption (instead of hundreds of miles away), they increase the reliability of the electricity system while reducing the amount of energy lost piping it to distant customers.
The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) has released three products designed to help utilities, policymakers, regulators, and end-users better appreciate and understand the immense value CHP can offer to an energy system: a detailed externally reviewed report describing the myriad benefits of CHP and the manner in which utilities are currently valuing them; a white paper for electric utilities interested in better understanding how their peers are valuing CHP; and a white paper for natural gas distribution utilities exploring how CHP can be a strategic business opportunity...To continue reading the blog post summarizing the reports visit: http://aceee.org/blog/2013/07/are-utilities-missing-out-benefits-co
About ACEEE. The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy acts as a catalyst to advance energy efficiency policies, programs, technologies, investments, and behaviors. For information about ACEEE and its programs, publications, and conferences, visit aceee.org.