Since July E.ON has been supporting the market launch of micro combined heat and power (CHP) systems together with manufacturers Brötje, Remeha, Senertec, Vaillant and Viessmann. Under a nationwide support program, E.ON gives buyers of micro-CHP units a subsidy of EUR1,000, provided they sign a gas supply contract with one of E.ON’s sales companies in Germany.
"We are convinced of the new technology’s potential," said Stefan Vogg, who is in charge of E.ON sales in Germany. "For several years, E.ON and leading manufacturers have engaged in a technology partnership to develop and test micro-CHP units for households. The high efficiency of this trend-setting technology can make a significant contribution to climate protection. We are therefore backing the introduction of these heating systems and providing financial support for their market launch," he added.
The gas-fired micro cogeneration systems produce both heat and electricity. Ideally, annual heat requirements are between 15,000 and 45,000 kWh. In some cases these heaters are no bigger than a washing machine and can be placed in any basement. The fuel used is natural gas or biomethane, which drives an engine that produces electricity via a generator. The waste heat is available for heating purposes.
Today the price of a micro-CHP unit, including installation, is between EUR18,000 and EUR25,000, which is still well above that of conventional gas-fired condensing boilers. Nonetheless, micro-CHP systems are economically attractive because they simultaneously produce electricity. Depending on the period of operation, over 50 percent of a home’s electricity needs can be met. Model calculations by manufacturers show that a four-person household using about 5,000 kWh of electricity per annum can save roughly EUR900 a year, depending on the operating time. The high efficiency makes an important contribution towards protecting the environment. In this performance class, carbon dioxide emissions of gas-fired micro-CHP units are about one third lower than those of conventional heating systems.
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