July 24, 2023 – The Combined Heat and Power Alliance applauds the Senate Committee on Appropriations for encouraging the General Service Administration (GSA) to prioritize immediate carbon reductions, including the use of efficient and resilient CHP systems. The Committee unanimously reported its Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Bill (S. Rept. 118-61) to the full Senate on July 13. The report accompanying the bill contains instructions that:
“GSA is encouraged to prioritize achieving immediate carbon reductions using existing energy infrastructure and factoring in cost alternatives in its efforts to decarbonize the mission critical and iconic Federal facilities and operations, in accordance with Executive Order 14057, including incorporating certified natural gas, renewable natural gas, hydrogen, geothermal, energy efficiency upgrades and appliances including combined heat and power, and carbon capture. In addition, GSA is encouraged to incorporate considerations of energy security, cybersecurity, reliability, and resiliency, in its decision-making processes related to EO 14057.” – page 71, S. Rept. 118-61
Section 205 of Executive Order 14057 cited within the appropriations bill text—Achieving Net-Zero Emissions Buildings, Campuses, and Installations—states that:
“Each agency shall achieve net-zero emissions across its portfolio of buildings, campuses, and installations by 2045 and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent from buildings, campuses, and installations by 2032 from 2008 levels…This includes pursuing building electrification strategies in conjunction with carbon pollution-free energy use, deep-energy retrofits, whole-building commissioning, energy and water conservation measures, and space reduction and consolidation.”
As defined in 42 U.S.C. § 8259, energy conservations measures (ECMs) are measures that are applied to a Federal building that improve energy efficiency and are life cycle cost effective and that involve energy conservation, cogeneration facilities, renewable energy sources, improvements in operations and maintenance efficiencies, retrofit activities, or energy consuming devices and required support structures.
Unlike conventional power plant electricity systems, CHP captures heat which would otherwise be wasted and use it to heat and cool buildings and factories, making it the most efficient method of generating electricity from fuels. CHP units achieved significant emission reductions when used with natural gas and can achieve even greater emission reductions when using renewable and decarbonized fuels such as biomass, clean hydrogen, carbon capture and storage, renewable natural gas or biomethane, and renewable propane. CHP units provide reliable power and thermal energy in the event of grid disruptions because they produce their energy onsite and are not connected to the electricity grid, which is especially significant in critical infrastructure such as government buildings. CHP also provides important backup power, currently serving as the most prevalent technology powering microgrids, with a total of 2,400 megawatts accounting for more than 50 percent of all microgrids in the U.S.
The CHP Alliance is thrilled our nation’s leaders recognize the environmental and economic benefits CHP can provide on the path to decarbonization and looks forward to the final Financial Services and General Government FY24 Appropriations bill approved by Congress.
You can view the Senate Appropriations Committee press release on the bill here.