Calculate returns on energy efficiency investments

EPA's ENERGY STAR program offers financial calculators to help guide your financial decisions about energy efficiency and meet your energy performance goals.

Cash Flow Opportunity Calculator

Anyone can use the Cash Flow Opportunity (CFO) Calculator. It was developed to address the “we don’t have the money” objection that many organizations face when trying to implement energy efficiency projects, and to help you translate energy savings into “financial speak.” It’s the result of proven field experiences that have been used to sell energy efficiency projects to decision-makers around the country. And it uses simple financial arguments familiar to all financial managers.

The CFO Calculator can accelerate the installation of energy efficiency projects by addressing three critical questions about implementing these projects:

  1. How much new energy efficiency equipment can be purchased from the anticipated savings?
  2. Should this equipment purchase be financed now or is it better to wait and use cash from a future budget? (avoid paying interest)
  3. Will we lose money by waiting for a lower interest rate?

The CFO Calculator quantifies these costs and helps create a "sense of urgency" about these projects:

Financial Value Calculator

Are you in corporate real estate? Then this calculator is for you. It presents key financial metrics to demonstrate the value of improved energy performance.

Building Upgrade Value Calculator

Last but not least, do you own or manage commercial real estate? Then we’ve got the tool for you! This calculator allows you to analyze the financial impact of base building energy efficiency improvement projects from the perspective of both the building owner, as well as individual tenants at the property.


When calculating the return on energy efficiency investments, consider the value of increased occupant comfort in energy-efficient buildings in addition to the financial savings.

For example, natural lighting and better indoor air quality in schools can lead to reduced absenteeism among students and faculty, and better student performance. In retail stores and malls, upgrades to lighting and HVAC systems can enhance the shopping experience and boost sales.

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