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CIC Start Online - Home - AC21 - Energy efficiency retrofit cost-benefit calculator Phase 2

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AC21 - Energy efficiency retrofit cost-benefit calculator Phase 2

Written by: CIC Start Online

"Energy efficiency retrofit cost-benefit calculator Phase 2" by Heriot Watt University and Changeworks Resources for Life Ltd


The spreadsheet was developed under a CIC Start Online Award in October 2011. This delivered far greater functionality and practical applicability, allowing Changeworks to offer in-depth advice to on the costs benefits of carbon saving strategies. This is described in the report to CIC Start (January 2012). The parameters in the spreadsheet design allow for updating cost data, thresholds for compliance with the Scottish Government’s Scottish Housing Quality Standard 2015, subsequent standards addressing fuel poverty, carbon reduction targets and how these relate to investment options and best value.

The model has direct relevance to assessing future funding opportunities, Green Deal and the Energy Company Obligation (ECO), and benchmarking where statutory standards are increased, and their impact can be assessed. The report concludes with a brief for its subsequent development.

The main aspects of the study relate to additional functionality, identified by Housing Property Services in City of Edinburgh Council, particularly allowing for a range of tenant behaviours, in relation to variability, and would take householder preferences into account and more detailed outputs related to the Green Deal. Specific areas to be developed are:

  • Variability issues, Low, Medium and High scenarios e.g households opting for lower or higher heating temperatures,heating usage beyond the ‘Standard Heating Regime’ and the ‘Rebound’ effect, rerunning NHER data for different scenarios related to 2-7 below
  • A Green Deal sensitivity sheet/ year-on-year baseline cost changes/ income increments
  • An ECO calculator linked to the Green Deal for measures not meeting the Golden Rule, and matching grant availability to income status/ ‘Passported’ benefits. (75% of social housing tenants are on a benefit)
  • More detailed CO2 assessment based on carbon intensity by energy generation
  • Separate sheets for CO2 calculations based on 4)
  • Carbon saved as a percentage of current/ of existing/ of future targets
  • The introduction of critical thresholds as indicators of more radical approaches, changes in property management/ letting policy, stock transfer or demolition

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


Dr David Jenkins, Heriot Watt University

For Changeworks

The outputs of this study will be disseminated in due course.


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