Application and importance of cost-benefit analysis in energy efficiency projects implemented in public buildings: The case of Serbia

Marko Mihic, Dejan Petrovic, Aleksandar Vuckovic, Vladimir Obradovic, Dejan Djurovic
2012 Thermal Science  
The main objective of this paper is to present the advantages of using Cost-Benefit analysis in energy efficiency projects implemented in public buildings, and to prove the hypothesis that Cost-Benefit analysis boosts the effectiveness and efficiency of the said type of projects. The paper offers theoretical and practical explanation of the implementation of Cost-Benefit analysis in the relevant area. Since energy efficiency projects in public buildings usually represent a part of a broader
more » ... folio of similar projects and their implementation demands allocation of substantial financial resources, communities are often be interested in achieving maximal economic and non-economic benefits. This paper aims to demonstrate that Cost-Benefit analysis can represent an excellent contribution when attempting to select the projects for implementation within a broader portfolio of energy efficiency projects in public buildings. This hypothesis was demonstrated by putting a greater emphasis on non-economic benefits and the costs arising from implementation of the aforementioned types of projects. In addition, a practical test of this hypothesis was performed through the implementation of an energy efficiency portfolio in public buildings, worth several tens of millions of dollarsthe Serbian Energy Efficiency Project. The paper concludes that the use of Cost-Benefit analysis can help us to effectively evaluate and manage projects of this type aimed at achieving maximum benefits for the community in question. billion was spent on importing energy products, which accounts for 16.9% of the country's entire volume of imports [2] . Energy consumption in public buildings, as well as in other sectors, is much higher than in developed countries, which significantly influences economy and living standard [3] . Consumption of thermal energy in public buildings in Serbia amounts to 200 kWh/m 2 on average, as opposed to 60-80 kWh/m 2 in Sweden with cooler climate and longer heating season [4]. One of the possible solutions to this problem is a wider application of energy efficiency measures in the said buildings. This idea implies a set of technical measures and behavior, implemented with the ultimate goal of minimum energy consumption in public buildings with the same or greater level of comfort for occupants of these buildings [5] . The implementation of energy efficiency projects is often very complex and requires substantial financial investments. Institutional investors, the most frequent type of investors when it comes to public building energy efficiency projects, often try to allocate their funds into as many projects as possible, in such a way as to contribute to fulfilling the strategic goals of their country, region or municipality in the best possible way [6]. These goals mostly refer to the development of a community through better economic environment, improved environmental protection or social wellbeing. Nevertheless, it is not easy to decide which projects most deserve to be funded; in fact, this process implies analyzing numerous factors [7] . The costs and benefits a project yields for a community are among the dominant factors in such analyses. The type of analysis best suited to encompass the said factors is Cost-Benefit analysis. Its goal is to identify and calculate all costs and benefits a project might bring to a community. If the identification and evaluation of all costs and benefits of a project is adequate, decision-makers are offered with an opportunity to choose the projects with the lowest expenses and the greatest benefits [8, 9] . In addition, if we take into account all costs and benefits, our project management becomes more efficient, making our project goals more easily attainable.
doi:10.2298/tsci110911090m fatcat:64n5f6raljhdxhha2vz36nuipi