Marginal abatement cost curves (MACC or MAC curves) are a way of showing both the cost of saving carbon, and also the size of the potential saving from that source. I’ve mentioned them before in a post about low hanging fruit offered by refurbishment.

They are usually used at a policy assessment level, looking at the average cost of carbon saving within a country or a region. Carbon traders also use them to model the price fundamentals in carbon markets. Big players in the energy industry use them to choose between efficiency projects and new generation capacity. However I find them equally useful for showing the options for a particular building, or across a range of a few buildings. This tool communicates the benefits of measures to decision makers in a very direct way. It’s easy to read, and the real low-hanging fruit measures are immediately obvious.

A MAC curve is similar to a column chart, only with variable widths for the columns. Since there is no way of changing the width of each column in an Excel column chart, we have to try something else. I don’t remember where I first found a way of doing this in Excel (possibly the Carbon Trust), but I’ve had a MAC curve spreadsheet in my arsenal for some time now. The annoying thing was setting it up to handle varying numbers of measures so I decided it was time to automate it a little bit.

MACC generator

The MACC generator v1.1 workbook here is all set up for you to use straight out the box.

As ever, don’t be afraid to ask questions in the comments. And feel free to get in touch via if you’d like something developed a bit further based on this tool or anything else you see on the site for that matter.

Creative Commons Licence
MACC generator by oCo Carbon Ltd. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Jamie Bull |

Related Posts

IntroThis tutorial is intended as a walk-through for complete beginners to geomeppy. geomeppy is a python project built on top of eppy, and as the name implies, it adds much more geometry editing capabilities.At the end of the tutorial, you will have created and run an EnergyPlus model without once having to manually edit an […]

WiGLE is a popular platform which can be used for finding the location of a device using the names of WiFi networks in its vicinity. I’ve written about this before, and wrote some Python code to interact with their API. This API has since been retired and replaced with a new one, as of December […]

Just a quick post to point out a couple of really useful tools.The first is a web-based tool for finding weather files for a location of interest. It’s similar to the Excel EPW finder tool we created a few years back, but much more modern looking. It is however missing a few of the useful […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *