What Is An Energy Audit?
An energy audit is a great first step to help maximize your facility’s energy efficiency, performance, and organizational profitability. The purpose of an energy audit is to determine where, when, why and how energy is being used in a facility, and to identify opportunities to improve efficiency, save energy, and reduce operating costs.
As energy costs continue to rise, this adds an unnecessary strain on organizational budgets. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, 30% of the energy used in commercial buildings is wasted, which presents building owners and facility managers with a huge opportunity for operating cost savings. Even the smallest modifications to your facility can have a significant impact on performance and profitability.
Types of Energy Audits
To help define and explain the varying levels of what an Energy Audit should entail, ASHRAE put together three levels of Energy Audits, with each level building upon the previous and requiring a preliminary energy use analysis. As audit difficulty increases, so does the amount of data collected and the detail in the final report, which also translates into higher energy savings.
Every building is different, and Halvorson Trane is here to partner with on making your facility the most energy efficient it can be - but it all starts with an energy audit.
Preliminary Energy Use Analysis:
- A site visit to assess the building and energy consuming equipment (HVAC systems and controls, water heating systems, lighting, building shell, and other environmental systems)
- Analysis of the utility bills to determine whether savings can be had by changing utility rates
- A summary of utility bill data
- A calculation of the energy use intensity (EUI)
- Benchmarking to compare the site’s energy usage to that of similar sites in the same region
- Estimate of the energy and costs saved if the building met an energy use intensity target
Level 1 Energy Audit - Walk-through:
The goal of this audit is to identify obvious areas of energy waste or inefficiency. The data is compiled and used to complete a preliminary report detailing low-cost/no-cost measures and potential capital improvements for further study in higher level audits. This level of detail is adequate for prioritizing energy efficiency projects and to assess whether a more detailed audit is necessary.
- Brief on-site survey of the building, interviews with select facility staff, a review of utility bills or other operating data
- Savings and cost analysis of low-cost/no-cost Energy Conservation Measures (ECMs)
- Identification of potential capital improvements meriting further consideration
- Often a Preliminary Energy Use Analysis and Walk-through Analysis are completed in tandem
Level 2 Energy Audit - Energy Survey and Analysis:
This includes the Level 1 analysis, but adds detailed energy calculations and financial analysis of proposed energy efficiency measures. Energy usage is typically analyzed over a longer period of time during these audits. This level of detail is adequate to justify project implementation.
- More detailed building survey
- Breakdown of energy use
- Savings and cost analysis of all ECMs
- Identification of ECMs requiring more thorough data collection and analysis (Level 3)
Level 3 - Detailed Survey and Analysis:
Level 3 focuses on an engineering analysis of the potential capital-intensive projects identified in the Level 2 Analysis. There is more detailed field data gathering at this time and a more rigorous analysis. Existing utility data is supplemented with sub-metering of major energy consuming systems and monitoring of those system's operating characteristics. This level of detail provides the confidence required for major capital investments.
- Attention to capital-intensive projects identified during the Level 2 audit
- More detailed field analysis
- More rigorous engineering analysis
- Cost and savings calculations with a high level of accuracy
Contact us to schedule your commercial facility's energy audit. We'll get you in contact with one of our Certified Energy Managers.