At White Harvest Energy, we love modular combined heat and power (CHP). We encourage and work in lots of forms of advanced energy, but the conditions right now are perfect for CHP. However, what we have found is that we have to start our conversations with an education process to explain what modular CHP is and why it is a good thing. In a nutshell, modular CHP produces electricity and heating or cooling in a more efficient way than how most people currently buy or produce it. Because it is more efficient, it costs less and saves you money. Pretty simple right?
Now, our intent is to go to utilities and help them deploy modular CHP to all customers that could benefit from its efficiency. Go to the ones that have the best potential for the largest impact. Help them be more efficient. However, most utilities take time to adapt to new business models so this is a slow process. While we are educating utilities, we are also reaching out to the customers that would be interested in CHP. As a matter of fact, we talk to everyone about it... it's part of the education process.
It seems that in every conversation, whether it is with a seasoned utility executive or a family member who has limited knowledge of the power industry, we get a similar response. At some point in the conversation the person will ask, "When can I get one of these things at my house?" It's easy to brush that question off and say, "Well, it's not quite to residential, single family scale yet." However, there is a much deeper message that is being conveyed each and every time that question is asked. What people are really asking is "When can I do this for myself and stop depending on the power company?" There is an underlying desire to break free from the serving utility... why?
It seems that when there is limited choice in how a service or product is delivered, almost any option that becomes available can grasp the customer's attention. In some cases, the alternative does not have to be clearly better; it can just be different. This is an important message that many utilities and power providers have overlooked and continue to miss.
In the case of CHP, not only does it represent a different option but it provides a clear and proven financial benefit to the customer. It's not new, it's been proven many times over. It's not experimental, the core engines have been around for a long time. It's not dependent on rebates or incentives to make it work, the savings stand on their own because it is a more efficient process... it just costs less... period.
At White Harvest Energy, we listen to the customers and the market. And we're adamant about helping utilities and power companies understand these trends and make profitable changes to address them. We want to come alongside utilities and show them how to profitably incorporate modular CHP on a broad and meaningful scale. However, change is a long process for large entities - so as we encourage change, we also help the end customers incorporate modular CHP so they don't miss out on energy savings.
If you are part of a utility, call us. We can help you develop a program to roll out modular CHP across your service territory. If you are an energy customer interested in CHP, let us know. We'll help you save money. Let's work together and be more efficient.
By the way, I still can't answer the question, "When can I get one at my house?" but I'm watching and I'll let you know when the price is right!