Evaluating Energy Saving Projects

If you want to get a good return on the money and time you invest in doing energy saving projects, its important to evaluate each project. 

You will find projects that cost a little and save a lot, as well as projects cost a lot and save not much. 

For example --

The best 8 of our "Half" program projects cost a total of $380, and save 10,350 KWH and $907 per year -- a one half year payback!

Contrast this with the solar electric 1 KW PV system we intend to install down the line a ways.  It will  cost about $9,000 and save about $170 and 1700 KWH per year -- a 30+ year payback.

So, by choosing projects carefully we got 6 times the energy savings for one twentieth the cost!

Surprisingly, some of the renewable energy projects that are pushed with the most enthusiasm have the worst returns -- it really pays to do your homework.

Use the list of resources below to help you find the tools, techniques, and examples to evaluate your projects.


Project Evaluation Resources

For the projects that we used in our "Half" program.   I've included with each project an estimate on energy and green house gas savings, and details on how these estimates were done. 
You can pattern your own estimates after these.


For projects that involve increasing insulation levels (including window improvements), try the Insulation Upgrade Calculator, or Home Heat Loss Calculator.  to estimate your savings.  Very easy to use.


The Project Pages provide details on projects that sometimes include estimates of cost and savings.


The References area has a number of tools that can be helpful.


For fuel efficient car savings, try the calculators and sites listed here.  Fuel Economy dot Gov and HybridCars dot Com are quite helpful.


For estimating greenhouse gas reductions, use these calculators.


If you need some help -- ASK!: Questions ...



Gary Jan 3, 2008