La Plata Climate and Energy Action Plan
Scientific, Technical, and Analysis Advisory Work Group (STA)
Climate and Air Pollution Planning Assistant (CAPPA)
CAPPA is a software tool under development by ICLEI: Local Governments for
Sustainability (formerly the International Council of Local Environmental Initiatives). It
provides a standardized method for evaluating the impacts and costs of proposed climate
protection measures and for prioritizing them in a climate action plan, subject to locally
specified evaluation criteria. ICLEI has generously made a beta-version of the software
available to the La Plata Climate and Energy Action Plan (CEAP) to facilitate efforts here and
to generate feedback on the software package before it undergoes general release.
The following statement from the CAPPA Users Manual explains the rationale for the
CAPPA is designed to assist with the identification and analysis of near and medium
term emissions reduction strategies. It is intended to provide a starting point for
selecting strategies to include in a government operations or community-scale
reduction plan. This tool is not intended to replace a more complex analysis utilizing
more detailed emissions source data and advanced models needed for estimating costs
and benefits associated with complex strategies (e.g., whole-building energy retrofits
and land use/transit planning decisions). All results from CAPPA should be vetted and
analyzed appropriately before adoption as an emissions reduction plan. All default
assumptions contained in this tool regarding the degree of implementation, costs and
resource impacts, and performance factors for each strategy should be customized to
the user's local circumstances.
Inventory and Target Information
The first two sets of input data are the results of the emissions inventory and the adopted
targets. This information enables the software to terminate a list of proposed measures when
their impact suffices to meet the adopted targets by some margin.
The CAPPA software requires quantitative input information for each proposed mitigation
measure. It does not specifically address adaptation measures. The input includes the
The logical unit of change, for example, appliances, vehicles, or households.
The number of units impacted by the proposed measure (“degree of implementation”).
The program cost per unit.
The cost of energy (dollars per kilowatt hour [kWh], therm of natural gas, or gallon of
gasoline or diesel). This includes specification of the mix of fuels used to provide
electricity locally, to enable an accurate estimate of the associated emissions.
CAPPA Summary 2
The impact per unit, for example, kWh/year, miles traveled per trip, or gallons of fuel
per year, possibly differentiating between options (e.g., 50% electric @ X kWh/year;
50% natural gas @ Y therms/year), and including possible multiple impacts (e.g., on
power consumption and water use). Some measures require multiple independent
parameters to complete this calculation.
CAPPA provides default values for all the parameters based on experience in test
communities, but all should be reconsidered to ensure that they are appropriate for local
As noted in the User Manual excerpt above, the software distinguishes between government
measures and community measures. Consequently, some measures that could be adopted by
local governments as well as in the community appear under both listings. An example is
replacement of less efficient equipment or appliances with Energy Star alternatives. The
weight assigned to a specific measure may differ between public and private sector
applications, e.g., because the number of units, and hence total cost, differs in the two cases.
CAPPA includes six areas for evaluation of the potential impact of proposed mitigation
measures. For each evaluation criterion, every proposed measure receives a weight that
ranges from 1 to 5, as follows.
Initial Implementation Cost - Initial implementation Cost refers to the capital needed
to implement this measure. Operation and maintenance or other perennial costs are
1. > $1,000,000
2. $100,000 to $1,000,000
3. $10,000 to $100,000
4. $100 to $10,000
5. < $100
Operation and Maintenance Costs - Operation and Maintenance Costs refers to the
costs associated with ongoing implementation expenses for the measure, excluding
those associated with initial implementation.
1. > 2 FTE
2. 1 to 2 FTE
3. 0.5 to 1 FTE
4. 0.1 to 0.5 FTE
5. < 0.1 FTE
Financial Return on Investment - Financial Return on Investment refers to how
much cost savings through a reduction in energy use is created by a measure,
subtracting implementation costs and operation and maintenance costs.
1. > 15 year simple payback
2. 10 to 15 years
3. 5 to 10 years
4. 2 to 5 years
CAPPA Summary 3
5. < 2 years
Implementation Timeframe - Implementation Timeframe refers to the amount of
time needed to complete the initial implementation of this measure. This excludes time
associated with ongoing maintenance or upgrades.
1. > 60 months
2. 24 to 60 months
3. 12 to 24 months
4. 6 to 12 months
5. < 6 months
Level of Effort Required by Local Government Staff – Level of Effort Required by
Local Government Staff refers to the amount of local government human resources
needed to complete the initial implementation and support ongoing maintenance of the
given measure. [The “ongoing maintenance” appears to be covered in the second item
above. We will have to make a clearer distinction than currently specified in the
1. > 2 years FTE
2. 6 months to 2 years
3. 1 to 6 months
4. 1 week to 1 month
5. < 1 month
Degree of Implementation Control Held by Local Government - Degree of
Implementation Control Held by Local Government refers to the amount of direct
control or influence that your local government has over the implementation of this
1. No control
2. Public education without incentives or resources
3. Programs with incentives or resources
4. Legislative, code, or zoning influence without direct responsibility for
5. Full responsibility for implementation
Users may define additional evaluation parameters, such as Job Creation Potential, with an
analogous weighting scheme.
Total Implementation Costs are calculated by CAPPA. Appropriate values for the other
measure weights must be identified separately.
Evaluation Weights and Priority Scores
To arrive at priority rankings for the suite of proposed measures, the software incorporates a
weight assigned to each evaluation criterion, again on a scale of 1 (low priority) to 5 (high
priority). The final score for a measure under each evaluation criterion is the product of the
evaluation weight and the measure weight. For example, if the community assigns evaluation
weight 5 to Initial Implementation Cost, an inexpensive measure (weight 5) receives priority
CAPPA Summary 4
score 25, whereas an expensive measure (weight 1) receives priority score 5. If Initial
Implementation Cost has evaluation weight 3, the corresponding scores are 15 and 3.
The final score assigned to a measure is the average of the scores achieved under each
Obviously, the weights assigned to the evaluation parameters have a large impact on the final
priorities assigned to various mitigation measures. In order to judge the sensitivity of the final
priority list to the adopted weights, CAPPA includes a scenario work sheet that enables the
user to tabulate results according to different weighting schemes.
For a final set of evaluation weights, CAPPA produces two lists of measures, one ordered by
the priority score, the other ordered by emissions reduction.
Proposed Operational Procedure
The procedure proposed by the STA work group for prioritizing the evaluation criteria and
generating a prioritized list of measures for the CEAP is the following.
1. The Steering Committee establishes a tentative weighting scheme prior to the Phase I
public comment period. At its April 20 meeting, the Steering Committee adopted the
* Initial implementation cost: 4
* Operation and maintenance costs: 4
* Financial return on investment: 4
* Implementation timeframe: 2
* Level of effort required by local government staff: 3
* Degree of implementation control held by local government: 3
2. Subject to public comment, the Steering Committee reviews and revises the proposed
3. Once all the measures have received their individual effectiveness rankings, the STA
work group analyzes the impact of different choices of evaluation parameters, for
example, assigning Initial Cost weight 5 instead of weight 4.
4. The results are incorporated in the draft Phase II document for public comment.
5. The Steering Committee reviews the results and public comments and arrives at a final
set of recommended measures.