# INNOVATION November-December 2016

buildings across British Columbia, with implementation optimally timed to correspond with planned building enclosure renewals. v Andrew Pape-Salmon, P.Eng., is Associate, Senior Energy Specialist at RDH Building Science Inc. He is responsible for energy sector services, including energy policy consulting, community energy planning and demand-side management program design and evaluation, among other areas.

Conclusions Using information obtained through energy

benchmarking and calibrated modelling, a foundation was established for evaluating energy-efficiency measures for The Belmont’s renewal project. The studies measured and verified that the deep energy improvements beyond common practice are cost-effective for the owners. It stands to reason that The Belmont’s experience could be replicated in similar multi-unit residential

ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager Data

F igure 1: After the 2012 retrofit, The Belmont’s energy use intensity dropped from five percent above the median of each of a sample of 40 similar multi- unit residential buildings to 17 percent below the median.

F igure 2: A nine-year annual energy-consumption comparison illustrates two years of energy savings of 20 percent. Grey bars indicate energy use intensity adjusted for changing weather conditions. With the retrofit occurring in 2012, that year captured partial reductions. O ver leaf : Completed in 2012, The Belmont retrofit project won APEGBC’s 2013 Sustainability Award, and the National Institute of Building Sciences, Sustain- able Buildings Industry Council’s 2013 Beyond Green™ High-Performance Buildings Award.

Cost–Benefit Terms Defined The Belmont’s cost–benefit analysis included calculations of the following financial indicators, based on BC Hydro and FortisBC projected rates and the BC carbon tax ($30/tonne): • Net Present Value (NPV) – discounted future benefits from lower energy bills and avoided carbon tax, minus incremental capital cost of energy-efficiency measures considered for 30 years. A positive NPV is considered cost-effective, because benefits exceed costs after applying the six percent (real) discount rate (net of normal inflation). • Internal Rate of Return (IRR) – the rate of return corresponding to zero NPV, or a break-even point for the investment. If the IRR is larger than the discount rate, the investment is considered cost-effective. • Simple Payback Period (SPP) – the years of energy savings required to exceed incremental capital costs. In principle, if the payback period is less than the life of the energy-efficiency measure, it is cost-effective. In practice, consumers often consider a five-year payback period acceptable.

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