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AC13 - Energy efficiency retrofit cost-benefit calculator

Written by: CIC Start Online

"Energy efficiency retrofit cost-benefit calculator" by Heriot Watt University and Changeworks


This study reports on the development of a spreadsheet-based calculation and analytical tool, originated by Changeworks. This was subsequently substantially enhanced, in partnership with the Urban Energy Research Group in the School of Built Environment at Heriot-Watt University.  The spreadsheet is a design and calculation tool, to inform future investment decisions by social landlords concerned with improving the energy efficiency of their stock. The tool has potential application for private sector landlords and individual households. However, until it was enhanced in collaboration with Heriot Watt, it lacked the necessary functionality and practical applicability for use
as a commercial consultancy tool.

This consultancy has delivered an enhanced calculator which can now be applied to assess energy efficiency options for both individual as well as groups of residential properties. This version of the calculator utilises key data from running National Home Energy Rating (NHER) surveys, but could be easily adapted to accommodate data extracted from other modelling tools.

The parameters in the spreadsheet design allow for updating, both in relation to cost data as well as including thresholds for compliance with the Scottish Government’s Scottish Housing Quality Standard 2015, or subsequent standards addressing fuel poverty, carbon reduction targets and how these relate to different investment options and best value.

In this report, each sheet in the spreadsheet workbook is described, and a step-by-step guide provides instructions for data input.
The model has direct relevance to assessing future funding opportunities, including the Green Deal and the Energy Company Obligation, and future benchmarking where statutory standards are increased, and their impact assessed. The tool will be the mainstay of Changeworks offering to clients in the social housing sector, helping them develop well targeted and cost effective carbon reductions
and interventions aimed at reducing fuel poverty. The report concludes with an outline brief for subsequent development.

Key words: refurbishment, domestic buildings, energy efficiency, cost calculator


Dr David Jankins, Heriot Watt University

Bob Barnham and Stuart Hay,  Changeworks Ltd


Webinar held on 8th March 2012

View Seminar details 
View Webinar Recording
Presentation slides


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