District Energy Systems produce steam, hot water and/or chilled water at central plants and distribute the energy to the buildings they service. As a result, these buildings do not need their own furnaces, boilers or air conditioners; lowering capital and maintenance costs. These systems can also use a variety of conventional fuels depending on which is more cost effective and can easily transition to alternative fuel sources as they become available.

Combined Heat and Power Systems (CHP), also known as Cogeneration, increase efficiency and minmize environmental impact. For example, the steam generation process can produce electricity simultaneously using the same amount of fuel.

UNC-CH is a national leader in the utilization of District Energy and CHP Systems and has been nationally recognized with numerous awards throughout the years. For a demonstration of how these concepts are applied at UNC-CH, visit How Things Work.