What is Energy Audit?
An energy audit is the processes of inspection and investigation of energy usage in a facility to analyze how energy is being used throughout the building in order to evaluate cost savings opportunities. Energy audit identifies Energy Conservation Measures (ECMs) to reduce the building energy consumption without risking occupants comfort. Lower energy consumptions means lower utility bills which is more dollars saved for building owners.
What is the Energy Audit Process?
- Preliminary review of energy consumption: (a)Collect and analyze utility data (Electricity, Gas, Steam), (b) Calculate Energy Use Intensity (EUI) and compare
to similar facilities using Energy Star Portfolio Manager or latest CBECS tables, (c) Prepare a list of potential energy efficiency measures
- Site visit: (a) Interview building staff and occupants, (b) Inspect lighting, air conditioning, heating and ventilation equipment, controls, and any other energy consumer equipment. Take measurements of temperatures, pressures, light levels, power draw, etc., (c) Set up trend data at the Building Automation System (BAS) and collect the trend data after minimum of two weeks. Take BAS screenshots to record the current operation settings.
- Energy and cost analysis: (a) Evaluate utility data, site visit data, trend data, BAS Screenshots to ensure the data is reliable. (b) Develop a potential list of energy savings measures based on findings. (c) Analyze energy usage and cost savings opportunities. (d) Calculate baseline and energy consumption considering the current operation settings as well as proposed with all energy conservation measures included.
- Energy audit report: (a) Summarize energy savings findings in an easy to understand energy audit report. (b) Meet with client and present recommendations and explain every details of the report to ensure they understand how they can benefit by implementing the recommended ECMs.
What are the benefits of Energy Audit?
- Estimate Energy Consumption: There are different building components that use energy throughout the building. In order to come up with solutions to reduce the energy usage, the first step is to break down the energy usage by categories.
- Reduce utility bills : Energy Conservative Measures (ECMs) in an Energy Audit provide solutions to reduce the energy usage. The measures can be capital replacement or controls and programing. A detailed energy audit identifies the measures that achieve the highest savings. According to EPA ENERGY STAR, commercial facilities can reduce their overall energy usage by up to 25% simply by using more energy-efficient technologies and business practices.
- Increase occupants comfort levels: During Energy audit, you might discover issues with your indoor air quality, distribution of air, lighting, etc. Few examples are when few of zones are not getting enough supply air, lack of exhaust air, too much exhaust, not enough lighting lumen, dirty filters which might lead to bacteria and mold growing, improper insulation and air sealing which results in energy not spreading evenly, etc. Also, the minimum air requirements for different zones will be evaluated versus Ashrae 62.1 and make necessary changes to min and max supply/return cfm. It means if one of them zones are not receiving enough air as required by the code, can be identified and fixed During an energy audit. Going through these kind of investigations and improvements will help create a more reliable and more efficiently cooled and heated space for the building occupants.
- Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Energy consumption in a building is directly related to the Greenhouse Gas emission. An Energy audit can help reduce pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from Energy distribution, transmission, and delivery. Also, some cities started to penalize buildings with high greenhouse gas emission. Two examples are Local Law 87 of 2019 in NYC, and Berdo 2.0 of Boston city
- Identify and fix HVAC equipment/programming issues:
A detailed energy audit can identify issues that most of the time are neglected. If a chiller is not working up to standards or is there is any broken part that causes the equipment not function up to their acceptable efficiency range, these will be discovered during an energy audit. Often times, these issues cause would cost building owners a significant amount of money if they didn’t know about them until a major problem presented itself down the line. With a regular energy audit, operations team will be able to address these kinds of issues promptly to help ensure the health and safety of staff members.
Receive Incentives for your Energy Audit: There are various utility programs that they offer Incentive checks or rebate for any energy efficiency project. There are some requirements such as they project needs to be documented with utility program administrator before it gets started, there might be some limitation on how fast the ECMs need to be implemented. These utility programs often require Measurement & Verification (M&V) before any incentive is paid. Energy Fave will work with utility programs to offer a full package to our clients and receive “free money” from utility programs for our clients.
If you are interested to learn more how Energy Fave can help with Energy Audit for your building or if you have more questions about the different types of Energy Audit or how your building can benefit from an Energy Audit, feel free to email us: [email protected]