The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has created a partnership of government and industry to encourage the use of combined heat & power.WASHINGTON, DC, US, 2001-11-14 [SolarAccess.com] The partnership includes 17 companies from the Fortune 500 list, as well as municipal and state governments and non-profit groups that have agreed to work with EPA to develop and promote the benefits of new CHP projects. EPA will provide public recognition of projects and benefits to the company, public and the environment. It will support accelerated development of new projects through education, streamlining permits and provision of technical tools and services. CHP systems are already used by the 17 founding partners: Abbott Laboratories, Archer Daniels Midland, Bethlehem Steel, Caterpillar Energy, Dow Chemical, ExxonMobil, General Motors, International Paper, Real Energy, Solar Turbines, Texaco Power & Gasification Int’l, Trigen Energy, U.S. Steel, Verizon Communications, Weyerhaeuser, the College of New Jersey, and the University of North Carolina. The Partnership also includes endorsing organizations: Gas Technology Institute, International District Energy Association, Midwest Application Center for CHP for Buildings, Midwest Cogeneration Association, Northeast-Midwest Institute, the U.S. Combined Heat & Power Association, and the New York State Energy Research & Development Authority. CHP systems recycle heat normally lost under traditional power combustion methods. Cogen systems capture this leftover heat, providing a source of residential and industrial heating and air conditioning in the local area around a power plant. The concept is superior to conventional electricity generation at reducing air pollution and fuel consumption, is more reliable and costs less. It can range from large industrial power plants to relatively small systems using fuel cells or microturbines. Existing cogen projects of the founding partners represent 5,800 megawatts of power generating capacity, sufficient to serve six million homes or a city the size of metropolitan Washington, DC. The projects annually reduce carbon dioxide by 8 megatonnes above traditional generation methods, and annual energy savings equal 19 million barrels of oil.