Energy Life Cycle Cost Analysis

Energy Life-Cycle Cost Analysis (ELCCA) is a decision-making tool that compares owning and operating costs for energy using systems in new and remodeled facilities.

The ELCCA provides a method for the owner to evaluate different energy using systems and select the most cost-effective.

Why do an ELCCA?

The ELCCA report shows the alternatives that make the most economic sense while providing for the comfort, health, and the productivity of the building occupants.

Benefits of using DES' ELCCA Program

Benefits include:

  • Knowledge of the process – saves clients time and effort
  • Knowledge of best practices – helps keep clients compliant with statutes and codes
  • Proven process – helps keep projects on schedule

RCW 39.35 requires public agencies to ensure that energy conservation and renewable energy systems are considered in the design phase of major facilities. This includes:

  • Publicly-owned or operated buildings
  • Major facilities (25,000 square feet or more of usable space)
  • New construction or renovations
  • Colleges and universities, state agencies, and political subdivisions to include: cities, counties, school districts, and other special taxing districts.

DES developed its ELCCA guidelines to help promote selection of low life-cycle cost alternatives.


Who reviews ELCCAs?

DES will review ELCCAs for any public entity. ELCCAs drafted for executive agencies and community and technical colleges are required to be reviewed by DES. School district projects receiving state funding through the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) require review by DES.

What is the review cost?

DES will charge a fee of $2,000 for its review of ELCCAs pursuant to RCW 39.35.060.

How long does the review take?

DES reviewers work with the building owners to ensure our process meets the project timeline. We will do everything possible to complete our review before project bid openings. Typical review time (absent owner constraints) is routinely one to two weeks from submission of the final ELCCA report.

Who does the analysis?

The energy-consumption analysis is prepared by a professional engineer or licensed architect who may use computers or such other methods as are capable of producing predictable results.

How do you handle multiple projects on one site?

Combinations (or multiples) of new and renovated facilities that will be built on the same site during any 12-month period, if the sum of the affected areas is equal to or greater than 25,000 square feet require an ELCCA. Identical buildings less than 100,000 square feet built on the same or different sites during any 48-month period require a full ELCCA be performed for the initial or prototypic building, but subsequent buildings may only need to have an abbreviated report.

Do I have to do an ELCCA if my building is less than 25,000 square feet?

For K-12 projects receiving funding from OSPI, the following project categories do not require an ELCCA but do require that a "Public Facility Energy Characteristics" (PFEC) form (see Chapter 5) and a cover letter be submitted to the Reviewer during the design development phase:

  • New construction between 5,000 and 25,000 square feet
  • Remodels between 5,000 and 25,000 square feet
  • Remodels over 25,000 but not exceeding 50% of the replacement value of the facility

Do I have to do an ELCCA if the project is built or renovated using private funds?

ELCCA is required when public funds are used to build and/or operate the new or renovated major facility. Major facilities are those publicly-owned or operated buildings having 25,000 square feet or more of usable space.

Submit a Work Plan

The ELCCA Work Plan should propose to study alternatives that the project team can support and implement, and its development should involve the owner and project architect. The Work Plan is submitted by the ELCCA Analyst in the schematic design phase of a project.

ELCCA review starts when the analyst attaches an ELCCA work plan and sends to DES at The analyst will be notified via email that their work plan has been assigned to a DES reviewer.

Design teams can refer to the following guidelines and resources needed for an ELCCA report.


What our customers are saying:

"Thank you so much for taking my call the other day and explaining to me the process for the PFEC submission (NEW + modernization) for this school." (Stephen Ku, P.E. MKE & Associates, Inc.)

"Thank you so much for getting this turned around so quickly. We appreciate your help." (Aubrie Christensen, Project Manager, Spokane Public Schools)

Request our services

Submit a request for services.

Contact us