Skip to main content
Skip to content

Help

Learn more about each of the FCTAC input fields, where to find the information you need to enter, and how your inputs affect the results. You can also download a printable checklist to help you gather your data.

Name of Your Organization

The name of your organization is used in the report generated by the model for your reference.

State and ZIP Code

The state and ZIP code fields are used to determine your ASHRAE climate zone and eGRID mix of grid power sources.

Electrical Energy Cost ($/kWh)

The electrical energy cost can be found in your electricity bills and should be entered in U.S. dollars per kilowatt hour ($/kWh). To get a more accurate assessment, average the rates from the last 12 months of electricity bills. For a more general assessment, you can enter the rate from your last electricity bill. This is the cost used per unit electrical energy that the model will use in the NPV analysis.

Electricity Usage (annual kWh)

The electricity usage can be found in your electricity bills and should be entered in kilowatt hours (kWh). To get a more accurate assessment, total the amounts from the last 12 months of electricity bills. For a more general assessment, you can multiply the amount from your last electricity bill by 12. This usage will be used by the model to estimate the building energy footprint and will also be used to determine the optimal fuel cell size.

Electricity Demand Charge ($/kW)

Your building may have a demand charge, which can be found in your electricity bills and should be entered in U.S. dollars per kilowatt ($/kW) To get a more accurate assessment, average the demand charges from the last 12 months of electricity bills. For a more general assessment, you can enter the demand charge from your last electricity bill. If your facility doesn't have a demand charge, enter 0 for the Electricity Demand Charge field. Learn more about electricity demand charge. A fuel cell will reduce the electricity demand of the building, and the reduction in demand will be reflected in the NPV analysis in the model.

Heating Type

Select the current heating type your building uses to accurately reflect how your building currently is heated. The selected heating type will determine the units for the following fields and for the greenhouse gas and criteria pollutant emissions from your site.

Heating Fuel Cost ($/therm or $/gallon)

The current heating fuel per unit cost can be found in your heating bills and should be entered in U.S. dollars per unit (therm or gallon). To get a more accurate assessment, average the rates from the last 12 months of heating bills. For a more general assessment, you can enter the rate from your last heating bill. This is the cost used per unit heating fuel that the model will use in the NPV analysis.

Heating Fuel Usage (annual therms or gallons)

The heating fuel usage can be found in your heating bills and should be entered in therms or gallons. To get a more accurate assessment, total the amounts from the last 12 months of heating bills. For a more general assessment, you can multiply the amount from your last heating bill by 12. This usage will be used by the model to estimate the building energy footprint and will also be used to determine the amount of CHP that a fuel cell would be able to provide.

Building Type

There are 16 building types to choose from that represent more than 60% of the commercial building stock. Choose the building type that best fits your building based on how it is used. If your specific building isn't on the list, try to choose a building that is similar to yours. For example, a barracks would be similar in usage to a midrise apartment. This input is used to determine the building energy use profile. Refer to the following table as a general guideline to help in your choice.

Reference Building Form Assignments
Building Type Floor Area Aspect Ratio No. of Floors Floor-to-Floor Height Floor-to-Ceiling Height Window %
  ft2 m2     ft m ft m  
Apartment – Midrise 33,740 3,135 2.7 4 10 3.05 10 3.05 15
Hotel – Small 43,200 4,013 3 4 11a / 9 3.35a / 2.74 11a / 9 3.35a / 2.74 11
Hotel – Large 122,120 11,345 3.8a / 5.1 6 13a / 10 3.96a / 3.05 13a / 10 3.96a / 3.05 27
Medical – Hospital 241,351 22,422 1.3 5b 14 4.27 14 4.27 15
Medical – Outpatient Facility 40,946 3,804 1.4 3 10 3.05 10 3.05 19
Office – Small 5,500 511 1.5 1 10 3.05 10 3.05 21
Office – Medium 53,628 4,982 1.5 3 13 3.96 9 2.74 33
Office – Large 498,588 46,320 1.5 12b 13 3.96 9 2.74 38
Restaurant – Fast Food 2,500 232 1 1 10 3.05 10 3.05 14
Restaurant – Sit Down 5,500 511 1 1 10 3.05 10 3.05 17
Retail – Big Box 24,962 2,294 1.3 1 20 6.1 20 6.1 7
Retail – Strip Mall 22,500 2,090 4 1 17 5.18 17 5.18 11
Retail – Supermarket 45,000 4,181 1.5 1 20 6.1 20 6.1 11
School – Primary 73,960 6,871 E-Shape 1 13 3.96 13 3.96 35
School – Secondary 210,887 19,592 E-Shape 2 13 3.96 13 3.96 33
Warehouse 52,045 4,835 2.2 1 28 8.53 28 8.53 0.6
a First floor
b Plus basement (not included in the table number)  

Year of Building Construction

The date ranges for the year of building construction are based on major updates to the ASHRAE building codes. Choose the time period during which your facility was built, or when its most recent energy efficiency renovation was completed. It is assumed that your building follows the codes used at that time, and the efficiencies are adjusted accordingly.

Incentive ($/kW installed)

Enter the incentive amount that is available for the installation of a distributed generation system in your area. Incentives vary widely based on location, but many incentives are given as $/kW installed. Refer to the EPA CHP Policies and incentives database to get an idea of what incentives are available in your area. By adding an incentive amount, the assumed amount financed will be lowered accordingly.