RELCOST Financial Model

The RELCOST Financial model, a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet template, is used for evaluating the financial viability of energy projects. It can be used to evaluate a variety of factors key to project success, such as the minimum power sales price, the optimum mix of equity and capital to attract investors, or sensitivity to incentives. Methods of evaluating financial performance provided by RELCOST are: life cycle cost analysis, pro forma statements, sensitivity analysis, and financial ratios.

Pro forma financial statements provided are the Income Statement, Cash Flow Statement, Balance Sheet, and Sources/Uses of Funds Statement for each project year in the 30-year analysis period. Flexible user inputs include capital costs for construction, funding (equity, grants, and loans), operating costs (purchased fuels, labor, materials/expendables, etc.), taxes and fees (depreciation, tax credits, franchise costs, tax rates, etc.), cost escalation factors, income from energy, power and co-product sales, and income from sales of carbon offsets, renewable energy credits and renewable energy production incentives.

RELCOST includes a spider diagram utility, which allows visually assessing project sensitivity to variations in key inputs, such as changes in fuel prices or cost overruns. The ability to rapidly conduct "What If" evaluations enables the user to determine those factors that represent the greatest amount of risk to the project, obtain guidance on key points of negotiation, identify break-even values, and examine alternative scenarios. Up to nine scenarios may be defined for each project. The ability to easily switch between scenarios facilitates selecting alternatives, such as system design options or funding choices.

RELCOST Financial Template - Most Recent Version

Example Analysis with Latest Version

  • 400 kW CHP Example (8 MB) Latest update: 26 January 2021

Example Analyses (previous versions)

User Manual and Instructions


World Energy Engineering Congress 2010, Washington DC, December 8, 2010

Farm Energy Assessment Meeting Portland, OR September 18, 2009

HEATMAP and RELCOST Workshop Accra, Ghana, May 13 to 15, 2009

GeoFund IGA-Geothermal Workshop Istanbul, Turkey 15-20 February 2009

*These are not the current version of the spreadsheet and should be used only as example applications.  Download the blank template above for the current version.

EPA’s Spark Spread Estimator

This tool calculates the difference between the delivered electricity price and the total cost to generate power with a prospective CHP system. Download it