6.10. Economic Analysis

6.10.1. Overview on the Economic Analysis

For the company itself the economic analysis of the proposed energy supply is one of the most crucial questions. Therefore emphasis has to be put on this step and the more detailed data can be acquired for this analysis, the higher will be the reliability of the results. For the economic analysis of a new energy supply systems, operating (energy) costs have to be compared with the current equipment. Therefore, a suitable methodology is to calculate all costs that will occur in the future with the existing heat and cold supply and compare those with the expected investment and other costs of the proposed alternative energy supply system. The difference in costs gives the expected cash flow that occurs due to the change of the supply equipment. In general the following cost categories need to be considered:

  • Investment costs
    • offers from suppliers or use of 2nd hand equipment
    • Subsidies and funding
    • Revenues can be achieved through the sale of the replaced equipment
  • Operating costs
    • Energy costs incl. expected increase in energy prices
    • Maintenance, labor costs, insurance, utilities etc.
  • Contingencies
    • In case the current supply system is not changed: tax disadvantages, costs for remediation activities, costs for compliance with legislation, negative impacts on market share, affection by CO2 emission trading etc.
    • In case the energy supply system is changed: tax benefits, positive impacts on markets share, amelioration of company image
  • Non re-occurring costs Repair works for equipments, exchange of collectors, irregular maintenance, permits, legal costs, prevention costs etc.

In conventional cost assessments the focus will lie on the investment costs and operating costs. However, for a consideration of the overall true costs also contingencies and non-reoccurring costs have to be considered and they can have an important impact on the final result. The cost analysis should be suitable for detection of all parameters that influence the economic performance of energy efficiency and the installation of an energy supply systems in industrial processes, besides the energy costs. For a total costs assessment (TCA) that looks at a longer time period and takes into account macro-economic parameters as well, contingencies and non-reoccurring cost are the categories for their consideration.

It is obvious that the following parameters are crucial for the result of the cost assessment:

  • Inflation rate
  • Nominal interest rate of external financing
  • Company Specific Discount rate
  • Expected development of energy prices
  • Chosen time frame for the economic analysis

The result of the economic analysis includes the investment and the payback period, however should as well include economic parameters that show the economic performance in a longer time period. Here, the internal rate of return and the development of the net present value over the years are highly important.

6.10.2. Economic Analysis - The Main Page

The start page of economic analysis module is structured into 2 parts:

The general economic data: the most important parameters of economic analysis that have been stated in the questionnaire are shown. For changing these values, user can edit the entries right at the page or go back to the questionnaire module.

The result of the economic analysis: for the selective proposal, the total investment, the effective investment, the benefit cost ratio, the payback period and the internal rate of return at payback are presented in the first screen, the net present value and internal rate of return over the years are diagrammatized in the subsequent screen. In case user would like to have a comparison between the elaborated alternatives, you can choose the proposal(s) to add or remove the calculation results in the comparative table or the diagrams of NPV and IRR development.


The start page of economic analysis module

At the beginning, the results displayed are those of the fast calculation, which means the calculation carried out automatically with the inputs available in the database for the moment. In order to perform a more manual calculation, users are advised to go through the cost categories to check and revise the available values or give the additional inputs.

6.10.3. Economic analysis in automatic calculation mode

The fast calculation is carried out automatically with the information previously provided by the users in the questionnaires and the costs from the pre-design of alternative supply system. As this is a quick and automatic calculation, only main cost categories are taken into account including the investments and subsidies, energy costs, operating and maintenance costs. The contingencies and non-reoccurring costs requiring more detailed information are not included in the calculation. The external financing (funding) and revenue from the sale of replaced equipments which are not available from the questionnaires nor the pre-design module are appointed as a default value of 30% for external financing and 0 EUR for the revenue from the sale of replaced equipments.

6.10.4. Economic analysis in semi-automatic calculation mode

A more manual calculation of TCA is available for the user’s choice. In the semi-automatic and manual mode of EINSTEIN, users can optionally give your own values for the calculation of the costs. The investment, operating and maintenance cost and energy cost which are formerly defined can be changed and the contingencies and non-reoccurring costs can be additionally filled in here. From the start page, you can click on the button “Go through TCA data” to check and edit the data step by step or click on the cost category in the left hand side directory to jump to the page they would like to change.

How to change the investments: the investments of all equipments calculated from the pre-design modules are listed in the investment page. In case you have your own values which are not the same as those calculated by the tool-kit, you are suggested to click on the row of equipment you would like to change and re-enter the value of investment in the edit field at the bottom of the grid. In this page, users can also change the value of funding defaulted by the program. In the manual calculation of investment, the possible revenue from sale of replaced equipments is also taken into account. Users can fill in the estimated number of the revenue right in this page or click on the “estimate the revenue” to calculate the revenue more details.


The page of investment of the new process

How to change the energy cost: energy demand, energy price and general energy price development from the database are shown in the page of energy, operating and maintenance costs. In order to change any of these values, just click on the respective energy item and edit the data in the edit field at the bottom of the grid, the program will then automatically calculate the new total energy cost.

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The pages of energy and operating and maintenance cost of current process and new alternative

How to change the operating and maintenance costs: information on the total operating and maintenance cost are represented in the same page of the energy cost. For the current process, the data to calculate the total operating and maintenance cost are formerly defined by the users through the questionnaire. In order to change this total operating cost, you are required to turn back to the questionnaire module and to edit the detailed entries (see…). For the new process, the total operating and maintenance cost is generated from those of each equipment which are calculated by the tool-kit. Users are free to change this figure by clicking on the “detailed operating cost calculation” button, the operating and maintenance cost of each equipment can be afterward detailed with cost categories of utilities, operating materials, labour, external costs, regulatory compliance costs, insurance costs, and future liability costs. After you give here new data, the total operating and maintenance cost will be updated accordingly.


The page of detailed operating cost calculation

How to add the contingencies and non-reoccurring costs: several categories of contingencies and non-reoccurring costs are shown in two different pages. For the contingencies, users need to specify the cost and the timeframe (which means the year from when the contingency happens to the end of the project timeframe). For the non-reoccurring costs, parameters need to be specified are the cost and the year of occurrence.

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The pages of contingencies and non-reoccurring cost

What should be done if you do not want to use your own data but the data formerly proposed by the tool? The buttons of “Reset TCA data for current proposal” and “Reset TCA data for all proposals” in the main page enable users to recall the TCA data from the database. Keep in mind that by clicking on the reset buttons, all the data defined yourselves will be deleted and replaced by those in TCA database.