Energy Auditing- Assessing Energy Consumption in Homes and Facilities
Many industries, businesses and even homes are getting more concern and intentional about energy management for their facilities. Companies and facilities owners are continually seeking for opportunities to reduce energy cost and are adopting several energy management technologies such as renewable energy and energy storage to achieve this and reduce emission. They do this by assessing and monitoring their daily energy consumption through energy auditing.
According to the US Department of Energy, performing energy audits for homes will help save 25% of annual energy consumption or more. Certain recommendations such as proper home insulation and sealing leaks and cracks are parts of the home energy audit processes one can employ.
This article details everything you need to know about energy auditing and management. It includes what is energy auditing, what are the different types of energy audits, how is energy audit done, and how do you prepare an energy audit report. Let’s dive in!
What is Energy Audit
An energy audit is an inspection, analysis or survey carried out on a facility to determine how electrical energy can be managed or conserved.
Energy auditing for businesses and homes is the process of determining how electrical energy output can be reduced without negatively affecting the production output of such businesses and the comfort, health, and safety of home occupants.
Types of Energy Audit
The goal of energy audits for homes and facilities is to recognize the most efficient and cost-effective Energy Conservation Opportunities (ECO) or Measures (ECM), and these can include the use of partial or whole replacement of an already existing installation.
There are 4 levels or types of energy audit that describes energy audit process in details. Energy audit process includes:
- Benchmarking Energy Audit- Level I: The main idea behind the benchmarking level of energy audit is to compare the energy consumption measured in a facility with other similar buildings or facilities. This energy audit level is important to find out possible challenges that may be encountered during the actual detailed energy audit and for grading. It is also important for identifying facilities with energy saving potential.
For example, the energy audit process of a bakery may involve assessing the energy bills or the fuel consumption for the last 12 months. The energy assessment can be monthly, however daily, or hourly energy usage can be more accurate. Moreover, energy auditors may also sketch out a diagram showing the energy flow within the bakery and may also list out their equipment which uses energy and their demand. The energy audit report can then be used to calculate the total energy demand and be compared with other similar bakeries after considering similar features and parameters.
The more detailed the preliminary level of energy audit is, the better and easier the actual energy audit will be for energy auditors.
- Walk-Through Energy Audit- Level II: This level of energy audit process is also called the preliminary phase, is the simplest type of energy audit. It helps facility managers and energy auditors to become familiar with the facility and home operations and identify areas of energy inefficiency. The site assessment is based on visual verification.
It simply involves an assessment of the home or facilities to review the utility bills and other operating data. The walk-through energy audit process many include interviewing site personnel, revealing areas of energy wastage, estimation of cost of implementation, and providing a list of energy conservation measures (ECM) or energy conservation opportunities (ECO).
This energy level is however still not sufficient for decision making on the energy management measure to be used.
- Detailed Energy Audit/ General Audit- Level III: Otherwise known as the complete site energy audit. The energy audit process or level expands on the benchmark and preliminary energy audit previously done. Energy auditors collects more detailed information about the home and facility operation and perform a detailed assessment of energy conservation measures.
Here, utility bills of one year to three are collected and studied for evaluation of facility’s energy demand and usage. A detailed energy profile may also be analyzed to fish out wastage if interval meter data is available. To supplement utility data, some specific energy-consuming systems can be additionally metered. Energy auditors for business facilities may choose to conduct an in-depth interviews to understand major energy consuming systems, and the short and longer time energy consuming patterns within the facility.
Furthermore, the energy audit company will carry out a detailed financial analysis for the measures to be used based on the client’s investment or budget, implementation cost estimate and site-specific operating cost savings.
Moreover, the use of cloud-based energy auditing software will help facility managers and energy audit companies to work together with general and specialty trades contractors to identify a full energy efficiency options specific to the facility or home under inspection.
- Investment Grade Audit- Level IV: This level of energy audit details the technical and economical issues needed to justify the capital investment spent to achieve the change. It focuses on potential costly energy conservation opportunities (ECO) that requires a complete engineering study.
For a successful energy audit, energy auditors should ensure that requirements of the audits are spelt out. This ensures that building owners receive competitive and comparable products
Importance of Energy Audit
Why is it important to have an energy audit for your homes and facilities? Is an energy audit worth it?
Reason for Energy Audits for Home
A home energy assessment, otherwise known as home energy audit, can help you understand your home’s energy use, comfort, and safety. Before improving your home’s energy-saving measures and installing a renewable energy system, a home energy assessment should be your first line of action.
- A home energy audit is essential in helping home occupants find out their energy consumption and energy flow.
- A home audit assessment reveals areas in the home where energy is lost and how the energy can be conserved to minimize cost and save earnings.
- It also reveals which energy loss problem you should prioritize and fix to improve your comfort at home
Energy auditing for homes can be done by employing professional home energy auditors from energy audits company near you. These commercial energy auditors can perform a thorough analysis of your home using testing equipment such as blower doors to detect leakage, and infrared cameras to determine temperature changes which reveal problem with the heating or cooling system. If you live in a place like Lagos, Nigeria, there are many good commercial energy audits companies near you that can help you out.
However, you can choose to conduct a home energy audit on your own if you are on a low budget. There are tools online to help you with your home energy audits. It should take you an hour to a few.
Commercial Energy Audits: Reasons for Energy Auditing for Business Facilities
Energy management for business takes top attention in the list for many companies and businesses. As energy cost keeps increasing at a tremendous rate, businesses are at a risk of loss if a good commercial energy audits is not performed.
According to EPA, statistics showed that residential and commercial facilities accounts for about 10% of U.S greenhouse gas emissions. This implies that these commercial facilities are wasting lots of energy and revenue.
- Performing commercial energy audits on your business reveals where and how your business is dissipating useful energy.
Energy Audit Report.
How to create an energy audit report? How is energy audit done?
- Keep the energy audit report short but meaningful. It should be a 5 minutes read.
- Start with the statement “An energy audit was performed on March 15, 2021, at XYZ facility”
- The second sentence, state the amount of potential electricity cost savings from the conservation measures you have chosen. Talk about the current annual electricity costs from the utility bills. If you conducted a detailed economic evaluation during the audit, this should also come in here too.
- Your energy audit report should also include the purpose of the facility, business or property, the hours and days of operation and the energy conservation measure or device you used.
- The energy audit report should also include a description of building’s measurement.
- Fill out the energy accounting forms which reveals the energy usage at the facility.
- Review the accounting forms to calculate the base load and explain the accounting methods. Charts that show the consumption pattern and energy cost can be used do decision markers can understand the conservation options.
Need an energy audit professional or energy audit consultation?
At Max-Migold, we help organizations reduce their energy bill by assessing their energy consumption and proposing equipment that will reduce energy. We provide customers with a comprehensive set of energy efficiency, renewable energy, and distributed generation measures.
Our EPC is accompanied by a list of cost-effective measures that can be undertaken to improve the energy efficiency of the building, and the estimated cost savings for heating, lighting and hot water that can be made by following each of the measures recommended. EPC identifies ways to reduce energy and water consumption, leading to lower utility bills and reduced CO2 emissions. Give us a call today!
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