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How to achieve a ‘Good Quality’ CHPQA certification

Explore the importance of smart monitoring in CHP projects, what it does, and how it helps you to achieve long-term, sustainable performance.

Businesses are encouraged to play their part in reducing carbon dioxide emissions with financial incentives from the government. Operating in a more environmentally friendly way can lead to significantly attractive financial incentives.

Make energy efficiency savings with CHP

Buildings currently account for 33% of CO2 emissions in the UK. To reduce the amount, government incentives encourage users to make important energy savings. What’s the first step to reducing emissions and acting in a more environmentally conscious way? Adopt sustainable energy efficiency technologies.

Combined Heat and Power (CHP) is increasingly recognised for its environmental and economic benefits. From one single on-site process, CHP can be used to provide a building with electricity and thermal energy for hot water, and space heating and/or cooling. It’s around 30% more energy-efficient than conventional power from the grid and heat from gas boilers.

Optimising the operation of CHP means it may qualify as Good Quality CHP under the government’s CHP Quality Assurance (CHPQA) programme.

Understand the CHPQA programme

The CHPQA programme is the government’s method for assessing individual CHP schemes. The aim is to monitor, assess and improve the quality of CHP, bringing important environmental, economic and social benefits for users. CHPQA is a voluntary scheme but its financial incentives benefit the user, the environment, and helps the government to reach their emissions reduction targets.

Succeed with Good Quality CHP

For a CHP system to qualify as ‘good quality’, evidence of energy efficiency must be provided. The project needs to be more efficient, in terms of heat and power, than alternative energy options. Each CHP project will be evaluated based on data that confirms the fuel used, power generated, and heat supplied.

The CHPQA Standard is used to calculate if the proposed CHP scheme exceeds the required threshold criteria by providing the CHP with Quality Index (QI) and power efficiency ratings. To be confirmed as Good Quality CHP:

  • Existing systems must achieve a QI of 100, and a power efficiency of 20%.
  • New systems must achieve a QI of 105.

Enjoy the financial benefits of Good Quality CHP

Achieving Good Quality CHP, certified under CHPQA, is financially rewarding as certification is linked to tax incentives and exemptions. CHP usage is rewarded because of its higher levels of energy efficiencies and its production of fewer carbon emissions.

  • Climate Change Levy (CCL) exemption
    CCL is a tax on the energy used by non-domestic customers – standard electricity and gas supplied from the respective grids which is used for heating and power. Currently at 0.198p/kWh for natural gas and 0.568p/kWh for electricity (2017/8 figures from Centrica plc), the cost of this tax can be quite considerable to large energy users. Good Quality CHP is exempt from paying CCL on gas used to generate electricity for on-site consumption.
     
  • Enhanced Capital Allowances (ECAs) eligibility
    The ECA scheme encourages energy saving. It allows 100% of the investment cost of equipment to be written off against taxable profits, within the financial period in which the investment is made. For Good Quality CHP, this includes all associated equipment, including the generator package and heat recovery systems.
     
  • Exemption from business rates
    Good Quality CHP can bring reductions in the overall amount paid by applying preferential business rates, where they apply.

Achieving and maintaining CHPQA compliance

Think about CHPQA compliance early on. Gather accurate site energy data during the planning phase to size the CHP correctly, so it meets the site’s electrical baseload. Accurate sizing will enable the CHP to operate at full load for the optimum number of hours annually. Integrate the CHP system into the site’s utility services so that it operates as the lead heat source at all times.

CHPQA compliance and certification of Good Quality CHP for new systems will be completed via a comprehensive desk study. Note that CHPQA certification is not a one-off. Reassessment is required annually. Prioritise CHP monitoring so you can ensure proactive maintenance during the system’s operational lifetime.

Record all available data so you can provide evidence that the system is always operating at optimised performance. By doing so, you will increase the system’s chances of achieving ‘good quality’ CHPQA certification – unlocking greater financial incentives along the way.

Takeaways

Reduce emissions by using energy saving technologies including CHP to benefit from government incentives and tax exemptions.

  • Compliance with the CHPQA programme produces Good Quality CHP systems.
  • Evidence is required for CHP to be certified as ‘good quality’, so prioritise remote monitoring.
  • Good Quality CHP can take advantage of tax incentives, such as CCL and ECAs.
  • Create a good maintenance strategy to keep your CHP compliant.

Power your ‘Good Quality’ CHP with help from our experts

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