"CHP benefits consumers by lowering manufacturers' energy costs," said Marlo Lewis, a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute who studies energy issues. "What is unclear is whether additional government support will significantly improve efficiencies beyond what would occur anyway in a competitive marketplace."
What is even more doubtful, he thinks, is whether government can improve the overall efficiency capital by steering it toward a particular technology, such as CHP.
"Really, there's no such thing as a free lunch," Lewish added. "Capital lured by government incentives into CHP is not available for other investments that might do even more to advance consumer welfare."