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An overview of the Customer Damage Function Calculator.
Video courtesy of the U.S. Department of Energy

What would an electric grid outage cost your organization? Find out using the Customer Damage Function (CDF) Calculator—a free, publicly available web tool that helps you create a baseline of outage risks, quantify the potential benefits of resilience investments, and estimate the cost of inaction. Try out the CDF Calculator at cdfc.nrel.gov, and visit the Resilience Planning and Valuation webpage to learn more about the Federal Energy Management Program's resilience tools and support for federal agencies.

A power or water outage carries significant financial weight. Between employee time and resources, loss of data, perishables, missed sales or deadlines, and failure to meet mission requirements, there are a lot of costs to account for.  

And as facility teams work to justify investments in a more resilient water or power system, it's important to understand and quantify the costs before the next outage.

That's where the Customer Damage Function Calculator comes in. The CDF Calculator is a free and publicly available web tool that helps users estimate the financial impact of an outage. 

The CDF Calculator helps organizations perform accurate cost-benefit analyses for resilience upgrades so they can make informed investment decisions.

The CDF Calculator collects facility electrical load data and a few other site-specific attributes, then walks users through a range of potential outage costs at their facility. 

The tool calculates fixed costs, like damaged equipment or lost data, which happen at the start of the outage; … spoilage costs, which occur at a certain time after the outage begins; … and incremental costs, like backup fuel or staff productivity losses, which increase each hour the power is out.

The CDF Calculator is designed to evaluate all of these outage costs with minimal inputs and display results in user-friendly interactive charts.

Users can easily see their potential outage costs at a given hour and outage duration.

In addition, users can calculate the cost of multiple outages per year, adjust the frequency and duration of outages over the course of a year, and produce an annual cost of downtime using historic outage data.

Simplicity is often the best security practice, so the CDF Calculator is designed to be used without registering or logging into a user account. Users can save their CDF results on their local machine, and adjust their outage inputs again later by loading the saved file into the calculator. 

The CDF Calculator is a valuable tool for federal agencies, building owners and energy managers, utility companies, insurance industry experts, researchers, and more.  

It's the first step in determining the potential avoided costs associated with resilience investments and informing decision-making based on the cost of inaction. 

Learn more about the CDF Calculator at cdfc.nrel.gov.

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