Remote laboratories have been the subject of both technical development and pedagogic analysis. Much of the associated literature uses arguments regarding the relative value of these laboratories to justify the work in this area. Whilst many of these arguments are focused on pedagogic opportunity or logistical flexibility, they often also argue for the financial benefits that accrue from the ability to share laboratory resources. In this paper we consider the prevalence of these arguments and the extent to which they are (or are not) underpinned by research-based evidence. We do attempt to draw any conclusions on the cost benefit of RLs but rather argue for the need for better and more rigorous remote laboratory cost models on which future cost benefit analysis could rest. We provide preliminary work on a framework for collecting significant robust data on the costs associated with developing and maintaining remote laboratories, and provide initial suggestions regarding elements that need to be included in this framework.