Combined Heat and Power Partnership
Policies and Incentives
Output-Based Regulations Resources
- Accounting for CHP in Output-Based Regulations (PDF) (15 pp, 186K, About PDF) describes the importance of including CHP secondary output in OBR and presents two approaches for doing so.
- The Output-Based Environmental Regulations Fact Sheet describes how these regulations encourage CHP projects and which states already implemented them. Download a PDF version (6 pp, 199K, About PDF) to print and share.
- Output-Based Regulations: A Handbook for Air Regulators (PDF) (86 pp, 524K, About PDF) outlines what the regulations are, why states should adopt them, and offers suggestions on how to adopt output-based emission standards.
- EPA Clean Energy-Environment Guide to Action, Section 5.3 (PDF) (11 pp, 497K, About PDF) outlines different methods for implementing output-based regulations under a variety of larger clean energy policies, such as cap-and-trade and multi-pollutant emission regulations.
Output-based environmental regulations (OBR) can be an important tool for promoting an array of innovative energy technologies that can help achieve national environmental and energy goals by reducing fuel use. OBR encourage energy efficiency and clean energy supply such as combined heat and power (CHP) by relating emissions to the productive output of the energy-consuming process. The goal of OBR is to encourage the use of fuel conversion efficiency as an air pollution control measure. While OBR have been used for years in regulating some industrial processes, they have only recently begun to be applied to electricity and steam generation.
Most environmental regulations for power generators and boilers have established emissions limits based on heat input or exhaust concentration: that is, they measure emissions in pounds per million British thermal units (lb/MMBtu) of heat input or in parts per million (ppm) of pollutants in the exhaust stream. These traditional input-based limits do not account for the pollution prevention benefits of process efficiency in ways that encourage reduced energy use.
OBR are particularly important for recognizing the significant energy and environmental benefits of CHP. CHP units produce both electrical and thermal output. OBR can be designed to explicitly account for both types of output in the compliance computation (accounting for thermal output is particularly important because CHP achieves its superior energy-efficiency by producing both electricity and thermal energy from a single fuel source).
If you would like assistance on how states can design OBR, please contact Neeharika Naik-Dhungel (firstname.lastname@example.org).