LoopLink RLC Update: Account for Fixed Costs

Monday, January 30, 2017

The original article has been updated to include information about natural gas meter costs which was added two days after the original post on February 1, 2017.

In our latest update to LoopLink RLC, we added the ability for the system designer to account for the fixed recurring annual cost for natural gas meters or to rent,lease and/or maintain a propane or fuel oil tank. By doing so, we allow for more accurate economic comparisons between those heating systems and a GSHP.

Why The Update?

Tank rental is common among homeowners that prefer to avoid the upfront cost of purchasing a propane or fuel oil storage tank. Additionally, a homeowner may opt to rent rather than own so they do not need to worry about the costs for maintenance, re-qualification or repair. In such cases, the cost to rent a tank needs to be included in the overall operating cost for a propane or fuel oil fired heating system. In the case of natural gas systems, meter fees are frequently a part of the total cost and can add up over time.

Project Changes

The new fields are located on the Price & Inflation Rates page. For existing projects (or projects where fixed costs do not apply), the default value has been set to zero. Note that the field asks for fixed costs in dollars spent per year ($/year).

Operating Cost Summary Changes

To keep our numbers as transparent as possible, the operating cost comparison table will automatically display the new information in a separate “Fixed Cost” column (when applicable). The cost will automatically be wrapped into the graph.

Report Changes

Fixed costs are reported on the Prices & Inflation Rates report page. To make room for the new fields, the reporting of system efficiencies was moved to a separate page. As has always been the case, the inclusion of these pages in the pdf report is optional.