Commercial Energy Audits Save Money and Unnecessary Energy Consumption
Energy expenses account for a significant portion of the budget of every business enterprise. Whatever amount of energy your business consumes, there is very good chance that you can use commercial energy audits to help you reduce that consumption, conserve energy and save substantial amounts of money.
Why do an energy audit?
Commercial energy audits are effective tools in identifying where you use the most energy. They help you identify where you can take simple steps to better control energy use, such as reducing excess consumption. They demonstrate where better energy efficiency can be found, whether in structural changes to your building, the use of high-efficiency equipment or changes in processes and procedures. They also effectively locate areas where energy is being wasted and where you can reduce energy loss and the associated increases in energy costs.
Elements of commercial energy audits
Commercial energy audits assess your energy use through careful analysis of several factors. Elements of commercial energy audits include:
- Energy accounting and bill auditing: This includes collecting, organizing and analyzing electric bills and records of energy consumption and expenditures at your facility. This can be done for any utility service that provides energy for your business, including electricity, heating fuel and water. Factors to be examined should include energy consumption levels, peak demand and utility rates.
- Inspection and evaluation of utility meters: Meters that control and record your energy consumption should be inspected to ensure proper operation. Flow of energy should be identified and measured.
- Physical inspection and evaluation of building or facility: Your building or facility should be physically examined and inspected using appropriate tools and techniques that reveal areas of energy use and loss. Energy usage types — building occupancy, building condition, efficiency of building seal (including insulation) and equipment — and associated energy consumption information should be gathered and included in the audit.
Types of commercial energy audits
The greater your need to save energy, the more likely it is that an exhaustive energy audit will help you.
- Walk-through inspection and audit: Walk-through audits include a visual inspection of the facility, analysis of historical energy consumption records and determination of where immediate energy conservation or efficiency improvement measures can be applied. Walk-through audits can also tell you where additional and more thorough assessment may be needed.
- Standard audit: Standard audits provide a relatively comprehensive inspection and assessment of your physical facility. They will also include analysis of energy consumption data and will be more thorough in recommendations for energy conservation and efficiency improvement measures. A standard energy audit will normally result in substantial savings of energy and money.
- Computer simulation: Sophisticated computer simulations are the most effective but most expensive energy audit techniques. They are useful for large facilities or locations that have complex energy systems or physical structures.
Energy audit techniques
- Blower door test: Also called an infiltrometer test. This involves mounting fans in an external door. When the fans are turned on, pressure changes inside the building show where energy leaks and losses are occurring.
- Thermographic or infrared scans: These scans use infrared cameras to locate areas of heat loss. This shows where additional insulation or sealing would be helpful.
- Duct testing: Duct testing involves inspection of ductwork systems to ensure all sections fit tightly together and all connections are sealed against air and energy leaks.
- Temperature testing: Surface thermometers can indicate where internal or external walls are hotter or colder than expected, which also shows where more insulation is needed.
- HVAC efficiency testing: Efficiency meters and other testing equipment can reveal the efficiency of heating, cooling and ventilation equipment. This shows where equipment should be serviced to improve efficiency or replaced with higher-efficiency units.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about Plumbing, HVACR, Fire Protection and Alarm Systems in Mechanical, Commercial and Residential settings. For more information about the importance of commercial energy audits and to view projects we’ve worked on, visit our website!
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