Making decisions using LCCA

The design team agreed that the investment decision of whether to build an on-site plant or use the local energy options should be determined using LCCA.


Table 1: The LCCA is calculated for both building a new central plant and for using the district energy system option. The central plant option turned out to be the most economically viable alternative. Courtesy: Kohler RonanIn this example, an institutional client was trying to determine if it should install a central chiller and boilerplant on-site or purchase chilled water and steam from a local district energy system (DES base case). Itwas clear that installing an on-site plant would add significant upfront cost and additional maintenancecost; however, future operating costs would be substantially higher if energy was purchased through theDES supplier. The design team decided that the investment decision should be determined using LCCA.

  • Figure 3: The design team agreed that the investment decision of whether to build an on-site plant or use the local energy options should be determined using LCCA.If the client decided to take advantage of the DES, over a 30-year period the client would avoid approximately $1 million worth of initial construction, future equipment maintenance, and replacement costs. However, over a 30-year period, energy costs through the DES would likely total $8.6 million in net present value
  • Although installation of an on-site central plant would increase initial investment and future capital costs by approximately $1 million, compared to the DES alternative the central plant option would save the client approximately $2.4 million in energy expenditures over 30 years
  • Based on total cost of ownership during the 30-year analysis period, the central plant option is the most economically viable alternative. Initial investment costs are likely to be recovered within a 9-yearperiod (discounted payback period); over a 30-year period the central plant would likely provide theclient with $1.4 million net savings (NS) compared to the DES alternative.

David J. MacKay is an associate with Kohler Ronan LLC in the New York City office. MacKay's expertise includes building performance modeling, building commissioning, energy auditing, energy reduction plan development and energy procurement consulting.

Consulting-Specifying Engineer's Product of the Year (POY) contest is the premier award for new products in the HVAC, fire, electrical, and...
Consulting-Specifying Engineer magazine is dedicated to encouraging and recognizing the most talented young individuals...
The MEP Giants program lists the top mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection engineering firms in the United States.
How to use IPD; 2017 Commissioning Giants; CFDs and harmonic mitigation; Eight steps to determine plumbing system requirements
2017 MEP Giants; Mergers and acquisitions report; ASHRAE 62.1; LEED v4 updates and tips; Understanding overcurrent protection
Integrating electrical and HVAC for energy efficiency; Mixed-use buildings; ASHRAE 90.4; Wireless fire alarms assessment and challenges
Power system design for high-performance buildings; mitigating arc flash hazards
Transformers; Electrical system design; Selecting and sizing transformers; Grounded and ungrounded system design, Paralleling generator systems
Commissioning electrical systems; Designing emergency and standby generator systems; VFDs in high-performance buildings
As brand protection manager for Eaton’s Electrical Sector, Tom Grace oversees counterfeit awareness...
Amara Rozgus is chief editor and content manager of Consulting-Specifier Engineer magazine.
IEEE power industry experts bring their combined experience in the electrical power industry...
Michael Heinsdorf, P.E., LEED AP, CDT is an Engineering Specification Writer at ARCOM MasterSpec.
Automation Engineer; Wood Group
System Integrator; Cross Integrated Systems Group
Fire & Life Safety Engineer; Technip USA Inc.
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
click me