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VantagePoint developments

 4 November 2013

VantagePoint Developments

This year we have been hard at work adding a whole new set of functionality improvements to VantagePoint which include:

Compounding energy savings – This is the effect where 2 or more measures interact so that when the 2 measures are combined in the same building, the actual energy or carbon saving is less than the sum of the individual savings combined.  An example would be when you install a new condensing boiler and cavity wall insulation in a house at the same time. The boiler efficiency increases from say 75% to 90%, this reduces the overall heat use and so the savings from cavity wall insulation are correspondingly smaller. But it gets more complicated because if you add loft insulation in the same house this compounds with boiler efficiency but not with cavity wall insulation. Further you may then wish to assume behaviour changes from smart meters which might compound with all the measures above.

The problem for VantagePoint has always been that when you’re looking at a city or a region you don’t know if the measures occur in the same building and so if compounding is actually needed. VantagePoint has dealt automatically with some types of compounding – for instance we built in an assumption that average boiler efficiency improves over time and so savings from heat related measures decrease over time proportionately. Also with grid decarbonisation (the “green grid” measure) reduces the carbon savings from other electricity measures.

However in the next version of VantagePoint this is vastly improved - you’ll be able to set your own compounding relationships for individual measures and it will automatically calculate the likely overlap (i.e. how much of each measure are likely to occur in the same building) based on the level of penetration of the measure.

Ability to add and edit baselines – you will be able to create your own baseline data set or edit an existing one. This could be useful for example where you have better data than the local data or you want to use a different baseline e.g. those that include motorways and large industrial users.

Ability to define more detailed BAU forecasts – previously in VantagePoint when setting targets and target years you could define Business as Usual (BAU) carbon emissions that would have occurred in the absence of intervention. Previously you simply specified a total additional carbon emissions figure – which you had calculated elsewhere. We’re working on adding the ability to define these at a much more detailed level.

New Edit measure functionality – previously once you’d created a measure in VantagePoint you could only modify its various parameters, the capital cost, operation and maintenance cost etc through the “Manage Reference data sets” functionality but you couldn’t just go back and edit the Measure. Now you can do just that.

We'll keep you posted when this new version will be available.

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Ben Stephenson, South Bank Employers Group