Combined Heat and Power

Also known as cogeneration, Combined Heat and Power (CHP) systems generate electricity and useful thermal energy at the same time.

General Information

A Combined Heat and Power (CHP) system (or cogeneration) can effectively and reliably generate useful heat and electric power using less fuel than a typical system that generates power only. CHP systems offer tremendous opportunities for customers with predictable and consistent heat and power needs (particularly large commercial, industrial, and institutional facilities), providing potential for significant economic savings and reductions in fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.

Assessments and Audits: Energy Savings Start Here

All businesses and institutions can benefit from the services and incentives offered by local utilities, energy efficiency service providers, and by the U.S Department of Energy (DOE). Always start any efficiency project, including installing Combined Heat and Power (CHP) systems, by learning what's available today and working closely with your utility. 

Energy Feasibility Audits

Mass Save® is an initiative sponsored by Massachusetts' gas and electric utilities and energy efficiency service providers, including Bay State Gas Company, Berkshire Gas Company, Cape Light Compact, National Grid, New England Gas Company, NSTAR, Unitil, and Western Massachusetts Electric Company. Sign up for an energy assessment through Mass Save to improve your energy performance.

Mass Save® for Business

If you are interested in a CHP system, contact your electric utility program administrator or enroll in the CHP rebate program

Customers served by municipal power and light (MPL) departments are urged to contact them directly.  

Plant Energy Assessments

The DOE offers two types of site assessments for industrial manufacturing plants.

  • Large plants (annual energy bills of approximately $3M) may be eligible to receive a free, three-day, on-site Energy Savings Assessment by DOE experts. For a limited time, the DOE is also accepting applications for energy management certifications through the Save Energy Now Leader initiative.
  • Small- and medium-sized plants (annual gross sales below $100M and annual energy bills between $100K and $2M) may be eligible for a free, one-day energy assessment by the Industrial Assessment Center (IAC), a federally sponsored program administered by the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. If your plant is eligible, contact the Massachusetts Energy Efficiency Partnership (MAEEP) for assistance, which works with the IAC to support plants including technical assistance to implement efficiency measures.

Technical Assistance

In addition to obtaining utility support for efficiency, larger energy users should consider a comprehensive energy audit and/or a performance contract from an Energy Service Company (ESCO) listed at the National Association of Energy Service Companies.

Hands-on technical assistance is available to support businesses and institutions in developing energy strategies; contact your utility via Mass Save® for more information. The Office of Technical Assistance and Technology provides assistance for TURA (Toxics Use Reduction Act) members; contact John Raschko at 617-626-1093 or Jim Cain at 617-626-1081. OTA also offers a “Request energy efficiency recommendations” page, offering your business or facility free, confidential help reducing energy costs and improving energy efficiency.

For questions on commercial energy efficiency contact Ian Finlayson, Deputy Director Energy Efficiency Division, at             617-626-4910 or 

Additional Resources

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