Cost-Benefit Analysis Education Center

Overview: Cost-Benefit Analysis (CBA) Education Center

The Cost Benefit Assessment Education Center provides a library of information and explores cost-benefit analysis methods, approaches, and rationales for valuing distributed energy resources (DER) in the context of an integrated grid. It serves utility distribution planners, strategic planners, program managers; private industry; regulators; policy makers; and the general public, among others. It addresses fundamentals and technical concepts of applying cost benefit assessments to DER integration and provides illustrative use cases to demonstrate various applications and choices/assumptions that influence ensuing results. Modeling tools are also referenced.

Research is organized to support understanding of foundational principles as well as more focused, context-specific topics. Consider the site an online guidebook for conducting and understanding DER cost benefit analysis, using various scenarios and perspectives such as utility cost, DER asset owner, and society.

Please check back frequently to see what’s new and feel free to contact us with questions or comments.

EPRI CBA Research

EPRI continues to expand and refine its research to develop a holistic, transparent, and repeatable cost-benefit analysis framework for evaluating the integration of distributed energy resources with transmission and distribution systems. As part of EPRI’s Integrated Grid initiative, this research provides a foundation for determining technical and economic impacts of DER’s various technologies and deployments. The framework has been used to develop use cases that demonstrate its application for a range of scenarios.

This list recent EPRI cost benefit analysis research is organized chronologically and by Fundamentals, Technical Concepts, Applications, and Tools (These categories defined in the table below). For each deliverable the hyperlink connects you to an abstract in EPRI’s Member Center. EPRI encourages visitors to review the available material to gain a clearer understanding of principles, use cases, and supporting software tools.

Please note: Many of the hyperlinks connect to publicly-available products, but some are access-controlled. EPRI subscribers must enter their username and password; non-subscribers will need to purchase these offerings.


EPRI CBA Research – Matrix

EPRI Reports
Year Fundamentals Technical Concepts Applications Tools
  Content Focus: The framework and methods underlying EPRI’s CBA; key issues and contexts that color CBA study. Content Focus: Core technical concepts and considerations that help to define a CBA’s scope and results. Content Focus: Use case examples that demonstrate CBA applications, best practices, and existing knowledge gaps. Content Focus: Software tools that can be used to contribute to cost benefit analysis.
2017 *Forthcoming* *Forthcoming* *Forthcoming* *Forthcoming*
2016 Changing Utility Cost Pathways amid Rising Deployment of Distributed Energy Resources

Energy Storage Valuation Analysis: 2015–Objectives, Methodologies, Summary Results, and Research Directions
Examining the Effects of Storage as Mitigation to Distributed Photovoltaic Impacts on Distribution

Energy Storage Valuation in California: Policy, Planning and Market Information Relevant to the StorageVET Model

Applying the Social Cost of Carbon: Technical Considerations
Time and Locational Value of DER: Methods and Applications

Comparing the Cost-Benefit of Guided vs. Unguided PV Deployment on Distribution

The Value of Transportation Electrification: Three Preliminary Case Studies of Impacts on Utility Stakeholders
Distribution Resource Integration and Value Estimation (DRIVE) – Model A Interface v1.0

Storage Value Estimation Tool (StorageVET)

StorageVET V1.0 Software User Guide: User and Technical Documentation for the Storage Value Estimation Tool
2015 The Integrated Grid: A Benefit-Cost Framework Overview

A Framework for Determining the Technical and Economic Impacts of PV System Wide

Guidebook for Cost/Benefit Analysis of Smart Grid Demonstration Projects: Revision 3
The Economics of Solar PV Plant Variability on Distribution Equipment N/A N/A
2014 The Integrated Grid: Realizing the Full Value of Central and Distributed Energy Resources

Evaluation of Value of Customer Storage Using ESVT
Understanding the Social Cost of Carbon: A Technical Assessment

Understanding the Costs and Benefits of Increasing Grid Penetrations of Photovoltaics
2013 N/A N/A Cost-Effectiveness of Energy Storage in California: Application of the EPRI Energy Storage Valuation Tool to Inform the California Public Utility Commission Proceeding R. 10-12-007 N/A
2012 N/A N/A N/A N/A
2011 N/A N/A Benefit Analysis of Energy Storage: Case Study with Sacramento Municipal Utility District N/A
2010 Methodological Approach for Estimating the Benefits and Costs of Smart Grid Demonstration Projects

A Framework for Evaluating the Benefits and Costs of Investments in Electric Vehicle Infrastructure
2009 N/A Energy Storage and Distributed Generation in the Smart Grid: Characterization and Value Analysis N/A N/A


Public (non-EPRI) CBA Research

Diverse cost-benefit analyses are being undertaken by a range of organizations outside of EPRI, helping to advance industry thinking about methods that can best value DER within different contexts and interpret results.

Use this page’s Resources tab to view some of this research, which EPRI will update as new research becomes available.

Forthcoming Features

This site will be under continual development and is anticipated to iteratively incorporate expanding functionality. Currently, information is static and largely comprises hyperlinks to relevant EPRI and non-EPRI research and tools. Future features are expected to include:

  • Relevant webcast recordings,
  • Video vignettes of CBA research,
  • An online learning platform for pursuing interactive classroom coursework,
  • Educational modules comprising topical issues, and
  • Access to an expanded set of functional tools.

Please check back to see what’s new!