Should you do a lighting retrofit to replace your lights with LEDs? Should you install a solar photovoltaic system? Should you use variable speed drives on your fans or pumps?
Every change, install and upgrade comes with costs. Are the costs worth it?
When I analyze a building’s energy usage, I look at the simple payback – or return on investment – for a variety of energy project options in order to find the ones that make the most sense for the dollars spent. My goal is to find the best “bang for the buck!”
I am also looking for additional benefits such as maintenance savings, operation savings or utility rebates and tax credits.
Life cycle cost analysis takes into account all costs throughout a building’s (or piece of equipment’s) entire life cycle including maintenance and operational costs in addition to building construction and equipment installation costs. Comparing life cycle costs of different energy solutions to your current situation is a valuable decision-making tool and often highlights where you will get the most return on your investment.