WASHINGTON - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it is recognizing two companies for their innovative new products that recycle wasted energy and turn it into usable electricity in homes or small buildings. EPA said micro combined heat and power (CHP) systems are an emerging technology that can help change how we use and produce energy in our homes. When offsetting coal-generated electricity in cold climates, this technology has the capability to reduce energy use and curb carbon dioxide emissions by 20 to 30 percent.

As winners of the 2011 Energy Star Emerging Technology Award, the Freewatt micro CHP system made by ECR International of Utica, N.Y. (www.ecrinternational.com) and the Ecopower micro CHP system made by Marathon Engine of East Troy, Wis. (www.marathonengine.com) are helping homeowners and small building owners, particularly in the Northeast region, to cogenerate heat and electricity, to reduce their utility bills.

Although CHP technology has been successfully used in larger applications for many years, micro CHP systems have only recently been commercialized for small-scale use in homes, apartment buildings, and small office buildings. EPA said this year’s winning micro CHP systems met strict criteria for efficiency, noise, emissions, and third party-verified performance. In addition to submitting laboratory test results, products were monitored in the field for a minimum of one year to be eligible for recognition.

For more information, visit www.energystar.gov/emergingtech.

Publication date:02/21/2011