Climate and Air Pollution Planning Assistant (CAPPA)
From Open Energy Information
ICLEI's Climate and Air Pollution Planning Assistant (CAPPA) is a free, Excel spreadsheet-based tool designed to assist local governments with two tasks: exploring a specific emissions reduction strategy, and creating a comprehenisive emissions reduction plan. CAPPA includes a library of over 110 distinct emissions reduction strategies spanning the focus areas of energy efficiency/conservation (including equipment, facility-scale energy improvement, lighting, promotion/education, water, and roofing policies and technologies); energy generation (including energy generation from landfill methane; installation of solar photovoltaic panels, solar hot water, and wind; and renewable energy procurement through green power purchases and RECs); transportation (including alternative fuel, trip reduction, vehicle technology and idle-reduction technologies and policies); waste (including composting, methane flaring, recycling, and waste reduction programs); and other (including carbon credits, VOC reduction, wastewater, urban forestry, carbon tax, and user defined programs).
Each reduction strategy is described on a separate tab of the workbook. These strategy tabs also contain a description of the benefits of each action as it relates to GHG emissions, criteria air pollutants, and other factors, along with additional resources and links to case studies of communities that have emplemented the strategy. The calculators on each tab determine emissions reduction potential of the strategy, costs and benefits, and information on how the strategy performs based on a 1-5 rating under certain decision criteria (e.g., implementation cost, level of effort required by local government staff, or degree of control by the local government). Strategies are assessed both at the local government and the community level. This functionality is useful in comparing a variety of strategies and evaluating options both in terms of emissions benefits and implementation issues.
To develop an emissions reduction plan, users can input their community's baseline emissions inventory and reduction target, and the tool will proritize different reduction strategies to meet a community's greenhouse gas or other air polition reduction targets. Strategies are prioritized based both on reduction potential and the relative importance of the decision criteria that the user specifies. The CAPPA emissions reduction planning functionality can be used to establish an emissions reduction target based on the strategies that a community deams feasible, or it can be used to select a mix of strategies to meet a given reduction target.
Inputs and Outputs
On each reduction strategy tab, the user may enter the "degree of implementation" of the measure at the local government operation and/or community level. Degree of implementation indicates the number of the units of the measure (e.g., number of computer monitors replaced with ENERGY STAR models or number of homes installing solar hot water heaters) that the community wishes to model. The user may also input assumptions regarding the measure (e.g., cost of electricity, sun hours per day, average transit length, etc.), although default assumptions are also provided. The user may also input "benefit ratings" for each measure. Benefit ratings (given a value on a scale of 1-5) are assigned to each of six decision criteria (including initial implementation cost, operation and mainenance costs, financial return on investment, implementation timeframe, level of effort required by local government staff, and degree of implementation control by local government). Default benefit ratings are provided for each measure based on national data collected from ICLEI communities. Users can specify additional decision criteria in addition to CAPPA's six default criteria.
To develop an emissions reduction plan using CAPPA, users must input their community's baseline emissions inventory (which must be calculated separately), any forecasted changes in emissions, and emission reduction targets for GHG emissions and each criteria air pollutant. The eGRID sub-region of the community's electricity source must also be specified. Users must also rate the relative importance of the six or more decision criteria based on local priorities or constraints. Degree of implementation and measure benefit ratings may either be input separately or be taken from the individual reduction strategy pages described above. Users also have the option of automatically including or excluding certain strategies. Default performance assumptions are provided for each strategy but may be manually overridden if a community has more specific data.
For each reduction strategy, energy and cost impacts (e.g., total energy savings, annual cost savings, and simple payback) are given at both the government operations and the community level, based on user input for each of these categories. Annual greenhouse gas and criteria air pollutant (pounds of NOx, SOx, CO, VOCs, PM10) reductions and per unit reductions are also given for each strategy at both local government and community level.
If the user chooses to use CAPPA to create a local government climate action plan, the tool will output a set of reduction strategies prioritized according to the strategic priorities selected by the user via the decision criteria rankings. Measures are sorted according to level of emissions reductions and percentage contribution toward the community's reduction target. These lists may be generated for GHG emissions or each criteria pollutant, at either the local government operation or community-wide scale.
ICLEI refers to CAPPA as a "decision support tool" because of the tool's ability to calculate the impact of a variety of different reduction measures and to prioritize these measures based on a community's unique priorities and constraints. Users are able to perform two distinct but interrelated tasks: exploring the potential impacts of individual measures using the strategy-specific calculation tabs; or developing a list of reduction strategies that can form the basis of a comprehensive emissions reduction plan. Although users are encouraged to specify community-specific assumptions, CAPPA provides default averages, adopted from real-world communities, to analyze the relative costs and benefits of each reduction strategy contained in the workbook. Thus, one of the strengths of the tool is that users with limited technical expertise can use it to explore different strategies and develop a high-level prioritization of options. However, more complex tools may be necessary to develop more precise community-specific analyses.
CAPPA has been designed for use by local governments.
Registration is required with ICLEA.