Local benefit prices (Energy, building costs)

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ia7
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Feb 26, 2020 7:07 am

Local benefit prices (Energy, building costs)

Post by ia7 » Wed Apr 08, 2020 3:11 am

Dear i-Tree team,

I would like to change the local benefit prices and add local data (local energy, stormwater, heating and carbon prices) to increase the accuracy of the model in i-Tree Eco. Our study area is Karlsruhe-Germany. However, it is not clear for me how the values were calculated and how are they defined. Do you have more information on that? Here are my doubts:
1. Heating prices: did you calculated heating oil or gas? or an average of both?`(is this also only for private buildings and housing, like electricity values?)
2. Carbon price: I assume you don´t mean the emission trading price (which would be about 24 EUR/ton in Germany), as the default value from USA given by i-Tree is 160,66EUR. Do you mean the costs generated by negative emissions of CO2, based on past emissions?
3. Stormwater runoff: can you explain what is exactly meant by this? Do you mean the price for maintenance and transportation of stormwater into seawage system? Is the maintenance of the seawage system in total also counted? How did you calculate this value for US?

And in general: are these values calculated for the whole country? Or can we calculate and add the prices for our specific study area, which is the city of Karlsruhe?

I appreciate your support and look forward for your response.

Best
Iulia
Jason.Henning
i-Tree Team
Posts: 203
Joined: Fri Dec 21, 2012 7:45 am

Re: Local benefit prices (Energy, building costs)

Post by Jason.Henning » Wed Apr 08, 2020 2:30 pm

Hi Lulia,
Thanks for your questions. Many of these can be addressed with the documents in our archives,

Question 1: The i-Tree energy models were created for residential structures. The monetary valuations and avoided emissions account for regionally average energy mixes and prices. In general we encourage users to localize these valuations as much as possible. In many cases this often means creating an average of energy types for heating as multiple heating methods may be used in a single city.
Question 2: The carbon price is estimated using the social cost of carbon number described in this document, http://www.itreetools.org/eco/resources ... update.pdf. The number in that document is routinely updated to reflect current valuations as described in the this forum thread, viewtopic.php?f=8&t=1219
Question 3: The prices used here is the price that it costs the treatment plant to treat a given volume of water. In many cases here in the US we have combined sewer systems where roadway runoff (and other stormwater runoff) makes its way into the sanitary sewer system and must be treated. In this way the cost of treating a gallon of sewer water is a useful estimate of the cost of managing a gallon of stormwater. Even in locations without this combined sewer system the infrastructure and its overall cost for stormwater management system is similar to the sanitary sewage system.

In general we encourage users to make these values a locally relevant as possible. You should definitely use the most relevant values to your study area when possible and there is not necessarily a reason why your valuation methods need to match those used by i-Tree. For example many users here in the US use local carbon prices as some states have carbon credit markets while others do not.

Hope those answers help with your decision making.
Also I saw you had a post with similar questions and I went ahead and deleted that one but let me know if I missed anything.
-Jason
A member of the i-Tree Team
ia7
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Feb 26, 2020 7:07 am

Re: Local benefit prices (Energy, building costs)

Post by ia7 » Thu Apr 09, 2020 10:36 am

Hi Jason,

thanks a lot for your reply! Your answer helped me to clarify the doubts I had. Just one more question about building characteristics.

I know that in i-Tree we can add the distance and direction of the measured trees to the next buildings, which are important parameters influencing energy saving benefits of trees through cooling.
However, is it also possible to modify tree characteristics, like an average of construction year/ materials and construction types? (It is not the same to measure the benefits for an old building or a modern energy-saving building).
So, to make my question clear: does i-Tree use default building characteristics from US cities for all projects or does it have these values for international locations, in my case Germany? If not, is it possible to modify these values as well?

Thanks again!
Best
Iulia
Jason.Henning
i-Tree Team
Posts: 203
Joined: Fri Dec 21, 2012 7:45 am

Re: Local benefit prices (Energy, building costs)

Post by Jason.Henning » Thu Apr 09, 2020 2:00 pm

Hi Lulia,
i-Tree Does use mixes of building vintages based on climate zones. These mixes of building vintages are what is used in the US. You can find the table showing the mapping of European countries to US Climate Zones here, https://www.itreetools.org/documents/56 ... ions.xlsx . You can find the relative mixes of building vintages (pre-1950, 1950-1980, or post-1980) here, https://www.itreetools.org/documents/56 ... tages.xlsx. That document also shows the default fuel mixes.
Also, in case you haven't seen it this, forum post lists data sources used for the European adaptation of i-Tree Eco, viewtopic.php?f=19&t=5144.
Thanks,
Jason
A member of the i-Tree Team
ia7
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Feb 26, 2020 7:07 am

Re: Local benefit prices (Energy, building costs)

Post by ia7 » Tue Apr 14, 2020 8:33 am

Hi Jason,
great, thanks for the information and for your support!
Iulia
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