Net Emissions Analysis Tool (NEAT)

The Net Emissions Analysis Tool (NEAT) is a computational tool, developed by staff at the South Coast Air Quality Management District (South Coast AQMD), which calculates the changes in NOx and greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions and the costs associated with switching residential appliances to cleaner and more efficient technologies.  The development of NEAT stems from the need to evaluate measures in the 2016 Air Quality Management Plan, such as CMB-02 - Emission Reduction from Replacement with Zero or Near-Zero NOx Appliances in Commercial and Residential Applications - and CMB-04 - Emission Reductions from Restaurant Burners and Residential Cooking.  These measures seek NOx emission reductions with zero and near-zero NOx appliances in residential and commercial applications, and integrate energy efficiency enhancements.

NEAT is specifically tailored to the South Coast Air Basin of California (SoCAB), and is developed based on a mix of baseline technologies reported in the 2009 Residential Appliance Saturation Survey (RASS).  The tool allows the user to select cleaner residential technologies per household type (single, multi-family and mobile home) and individual climate zones. Example of cleaner technologies include high-efficiency natural gas appliances and electric alternatives like heat pumps for water and space heating. NEAT uses comprehensive rate structures that represent all the utilities that are specific to the various regions present in the SoCAB.  For example, one can use NEAT to analyze the electrification of residential natural gas appliances, and its impact on NOx and GHG emissions, and costs due to purchase and installation, and to shifting electricity and natural gas use. While NEAT is a holistic tool that is designed to calculate changes in emissions and costs for a population of homes, it is not suited for modeling a specific home.

NEAT is equipped with a comprehensive module that allows addition of residential solar panels to calculate its costs and benefits.  The tool accounts for how much panel area is available in an average single family and mobile home household in each climate zone.  The amount of electricity that can be generated by the panels is calculated using the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s PVWatts calculator. The solar panel module allows the user to input parameters related to the type of solar panel (e.g. standard, premium, and thin film), system loss, inverter efficiency, DC to AC efficiency, and panel tilt angle.  Hourly solar and meteorological data used in the module is based on selected meteorological stations representing each climate zone.  The cost of the panels include installation and electricity savings based on zone-specific electricity rates.  The module calculates the costs of various solar panel size configurations and finds the panel area that minimizes the overall cost.

With the parameters input by the user, NEAT simulates a mix of 15,000 homes that is representative of the appliance technology mix in each climate zone and each housing type.  The results from NEAT simulations provide a distribution of homes with varying levels of emission changes and costs associated with each technology switch.  The tool allows the user to screen for homes with the most cost effective appliance changes.  Along with other applications, the tool can be used to constrain the amount of funding used to implement an incentive program targeted to switch appliances and design incentive funding to maximize emission reductions with limited financial resources.

For more information, please contact:

Sang-Mi Lee, Ph.D., Program Supervisor
(909) 396-3169

Scott Epstein, Ph.D., Program Supervisor
(909) 396-3754

Marc Carreras-Sospedra, Ph.D., Air Quality Specialist
(909) 396-2852

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South Coast Air Quality Management District

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