RETScreen is a low-carbon planning, implementation, monitoring and reporting platform developed by Natural Resources Canada. Available in more than 35 languages, RETScreen has been leveraged by more than 750,000 energy professional and over 1,400 universities across the globe.

RETScreen Expert is a comprehensive Clean Energy Management Software platform which enables professionals and decision-makers to identify and assess the viability of potential energy efficiency, renewable energy and cogeneration projects; and to measure and verify the actual and ongoing energy performance of buildings, factories and power plants around the world.

The software is developed by the Government of Canada in collaboration with notable international partners and is used by over 750,000 people in every country and territory of the world. RETScreen is also used as a teaching and research tool by well-over 1,300 universities and colleges worldwide, and is frequently cited in academic literature.

This “Made-in-Canada” software is well suited to assisting Canada’s facility and energy managers to take a data-driven approach to managing the energy in their facilities.

From benchmarking, to consumption tracking, energy audits and more, RETScreen provides a solution for energy professionals to take control of their facility portfolio.

The following features are either new or enhanced with the latest version of RETScreen:

Benchmark Analysis Module

New benchmark data and visualization tools for off-grid power systems and various modes of transportation (including on- and off-road vehicles, aircraft, marine craft and trains).

The benchmarking analysis module allows the user to establish reference climate conditions at a facility site for any location on earth and compare the energy performance of various types of reference (benchmark) facilities with the estimated (modeled) or measured (actual) annual energy consumption of a facility. Energy benchmarking allows designers, facility operators, managers and senior decision-makers to quickly gauge a facility’s energy performance, i.e., expected energy consumption or production versus reference facilities, as well as scope for improvements.

Feasibility Analysis Module

New archetypes for transportation, central-grid and off-grid power systems incorporating battery storage; archetypes for military and correctional facilities; update of the user-defined feasibility model and the global GHG emission factors database.

The feasibility analysis module permits decision-makers to conduct a five step standard analysis, including energy analysis, cost analysis, emission analysis, financial analysis, and sensitivity/risk analysis. Fully integrated into this five-step analysis are benchmark, product, project, hydrology and climate databases, as well as links to worldwide energy resource maps. Also built in is an extensive database of generic clean energy project templates as well as specific case studies.

Performance Analysis Module

New analytics capabilities to prepare non-routine adjustments (e.g. COVID-19); regression analysis using backcasting and chaining techniques; integration of high-resolution and real-time data (hourly or sub-hourly, interval data with direct connection to databases, like SQL), including data visualization and analytics tools such as weekly and daily times series, load duration curve and heatmap graphs (sample image at top).

The performance analysis module allows a user to monitor, analyze, and report key energy performance data to facility operators, managers and senior decision-makers, including a facility’s actual energy performance versus predicted performance. The Performance Analysis module integrates near real-time satellite-derived weather data from NASA for the entire surface of the planet and is connected to the Green Button.

Portfolio Analysis Module

New automated portfolio data update feature and new connectors for other data tools with RETScreen Connect; new offsite renewable energy purchase capabilities for portfolio-wide monitoring and tracking; various data analysis, visualization and comparison tool upgrades.

The portfolio analysis module allows a user to manage energy across a large number of facilities, spanning multiple energy efficiency measures in a single residential property to a portfolio comprising thousands of buildings, factories and power plants in multiple locations. Within the software, a user can create a new portfolio or open an existing file. The “My portfolio” database file is made up of individual facilities analyzed with RETScreen. Additional facilities can easily be added to the portfolio database. Sub-portfolios can be created to allow for comparison across different facility types and geographic regions, and a mapping tool helps the user visualize assets across the globe.

With a populated database, the user can enable a portfolio-wide analysis dashboard. The dashboard can be configured to include the results of benchmark, feasibility and performance analysis for each individual facility in the portfolio. The dashboard allows the user to consolidate results to readily track energy consumption and/or production, as well as costs and greenhouse gas emissions, all of which can be sorted by facility type, fuel type, country, etc. These results can then be used to report key metrics to various stakeholders.

All Modules

Integration and update of eLearning videos; improvements to reporting and custom dashboard tools; and a 37th language added (Mongolian).

If you are interested in trying RETScreen out for yourself, RETScreen Expert is available free of charge (with some functionality limited).

RETScreen requires: 

  • Microsoft® Windows Vista SP2 | Windows 7 | Windows 8 | Windows 10
  • Microsoft® .NET Framework 4.6 or higher.

If you are interested in formal RETScreen training have a look at the training path put together by CIET.

In addition, you can find more training and orientation material by visiting the RETScreen eLearning YouTube channel.