Updated Life-Cycle Costing Tool Now Available

June 1, 2002

The latest update of the Building Life-Cycle Cost (BLCC) computer program was released April 1, 2002. Executive Order 13123 directs Federal energy managers to base all investment decisions for Federal energy and water conservation and renewable energy projects on lowest life-cycle cost (LCC) analyses as defined in 10 CFR 436A and OMB Circular A-94. The BLCC programs, developed and supported by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) under FEMP sponsorship, are a valuable economic tool to assist Federal energy managers with performing LCC analyses. NIST's annual update of the BLCC program version BLCC5.1-02 includes the DOE/FEMP discount rates and energy price projections from the Energy Information Administration for 2002. Two modules for evaluating Military Construction (MILCON) projects have also been added to BLCC5.1-02 this year. (See Figures 1 and 2 below.) BLCC5.1-02 now contains the following four modules for analyzing energy and water conservation and renewable energy projects:

  • Analyses for Federal agency-funded projects,
  • Analyses for Federal agency projects financed through energy savings performance contracts or utility energy savings contracts,
  • MILCON analyses for DOD-funded projects, and
  • MILCON analyses for projects under DOD's Energy Conservation Investment Program.

NIST will support the DOS-based BLCC4 program until the remaining modules for non-energy conservation projects (OMB and MILCON) and private-sector projects with tax analysis have been transferred to the multi-platform BLCC5. Both programs are downloadable from FEMP's web site at www.eere.energy.gov/femp/information/download_blcc.cfm. More than 3,000 downloads have been registered since the initial release of BLCC5 in October 2000.

For a detailed explanation of the principles of life-cycle cost (LCC) analysis and their application to energy and water conservation projects, please request Handbook 135, Life-Cycle Costing Manual for the Federal Energy Management Program, from the DOE HELP Desk at 1-800-DOE-EREC (1-800-363-3732). Handbook 135 can also be downloaded from the NIST Office of Applied Economics web site at www.bfrl.nist.gov/oae/publications/handbooks/135.pdf. The FEMP HELP Desk and web site also have available the Annual Supplement to Handbook 135, Energy Price Indices and Discount Factors for Life-Cycle Cost Analysis, April 2002—a publication that contains tables of the discount factors that are embedded in the computer programs.

NIST, under FEMP sponsorship, offers a 2-day LCC classroom workshop in the spring and fall and a 2-hour FEMP LCC telecourse for energy managers every March. The LCC Basic classroom workshop focuses on the method and the underlying principles and assumptions of LCC analysis. The LCC Project-Oriented workshop focuses on how to structure more complex projects for LCC analysis using the BLCC5 program. The next LCC workshop will be a combined Basic/Project-Oriented Workshop held in Rockville, Maryland, June 18-19, 2002.

To register for the upcoming LCC workshops, please contact Cecilia Mendoza at 509-375-2518, 509-372-4990 (fax), cecilia.mendoza@pnl.gov, or go to www.eere.energy.gov/femp/resources/training/fy2002_lifecycle2.html

For further information on the LCC method and BLCC programs, please contact Sieglinde Fuller sieglinde.fuller@nist.gov or Amy Rushing amy.rushing@nist.gov at the Office of Applied Economics, Building and Fire Research Laboratory, NIST. Also see NIST's Office of Applied Economics web site at www.bfrl.nist.gov/oae.

Operating, Maintenance, and Report Cost Input Screen in BLCC5 MILCON Module.
Figure 1. Operating, Maintenance, and Report Cost Input Screen in BLCC5 MILCON Module

Operating, Maintenance, and Report Cost Input Screen in BLCC5 MILCON Module. Figure 2. Excerpt from MILCON Energy Conservation Investment Program Report