The Strategic Decarbonization Assessment (SDA) calculator is a valuable tool that allows building owners and retrofit teams to align their asset decarbonization strategies with their capital investment strategies. The SDA is designed to integrate assessment of multiple requirements including optimizing net present value, replacing equipment close to end of life, avoiding compliance fees, and coordinating electrification of fossil fuel equipment with future electric grid decarbonization. The SDA is a long-term financial planning tool for building owners to manage carbon emissions and energy use. During the EBC program, the tool guided the participants in refining their decarbonization scenarios and identifying the most cost effective decarbonization plans. Several teams were able to show positive net present value for their decarbonization plans compared to business as usual. This process can benefit many buildings and property owners in New York.
The SDA tool was built by Arup and Ember Strategies. It was previously developed for the San Francisco Department of the Environment and modified for NYSERDA use in the Empire Building Challenge.
Below are the principle directions to perform a strategic decarbonization Assessment:
- Develop your decarbonization term (years)
- Feed in your baseline starting point
- Define a business-as-usual path and analyze divergence from it
- Develop a discounted cash flow model of different investment scenarios with as much detail as possible
- Value non-energy benefits
- Near-term years require more accuracy and detail
- Long-term years are more directional
- Phase-in is critical
What is a Decarbonization Assessment by Ember Strategies