E.ON has started to give buyers of micro-CHP units a subsidy of EUR1000 (US$1440), provided they sign a gas supply contract with one of E.ON’s sales companies in Germany.

The scheme has been in place since the start of July and is being run in co-operation with manufacturers Brötje, Remeha, Senertec, Vaillant and Viessmann.

In some cases these heaters are no bigger than a washing machine and can be placed in any basement. Natural gas or biomethane is used to drive an engine that produces electricity via a generator. Waste heat is available for heating purposes.

Micro-CHP units, including installation, cost between €18,000 and €25,000, well above the price of conventional gas-fired condensing boilers. Yet E.ON says micro-CHP systems are economically attractive because the electricity they produce can generally meet more than half of a household’s requirements, delivering savings of about €900 per year.

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