Evaluate Your Office’s Efficiency With a Commercial Energy Audit
Energy costs remain a significant expense for any commercial business. In an office setting, energy costs can be unexpectedly high because of the multiple computers, photocopiers and other devices that are constantly using energy. For this reason, it is particularly valuable to know where you’re using the most energy and where waste may be happening in your office. A commercial energy audit can help you uncover this information and find out where you can implement some energy conservation measures.
Definition of a Commercial Energy Audit
A commercial energy audit is an inspection and analysis process that carefully, and in great detail, assesses your energy usage. It can involve a comprehensive physical inspection of your office site as well as sophisticated testing using a variety of sensors, thermometers and detection devices. In the end, a commercial energy audit reveals where you’re using the most energy, where energy may be lost or wasted and where you can reduce usage to save money and decrease stress on the local power supplier.
Commercial Energy Audit Levels
Commercial energy audits can be done at any one of three levels.
- Level One: This analysis consists of a walk-through assessment of your office facility. It will include an analysis of your energy consumption as indicated by your energy bills. The physical inspection of the site will be brief but useful. The result of this analysis will usually be several suggestions for low-cost or no-cost changes that can help improve energy efficiency and reduce overall energy usage.
- Level Two: A level two audit provides a more comprehensive physical assessment of the building and analysis of energy use patterns. It can provide detailed cost analysis of practical energy conservation measures that are within the owner’s budget or the building’s structural limitations. This can include information on how to change operation and maintenance procedures to improve energy usage. A level two audit can also identify improvements that are likely to require a significant financial investment, but are likely to pay off substantially over time.
- Level Three: Level three energy audits focus in detail on the larger investments and energy-conservation projects identified in a level two analysis. At level three, the analysis gathers extensive engineering data on the proposed changes and improvements. The auditor provides comprehensive, detailed data on costs and projected savings.
Applying Information from a Commercial Energy Audit
When all available information has been gathered, the auditor will provide detailed suggestions for changes, additions or eliminations that can save substantial amounts of energy and money. The energy efficiency measures recommended by the auditor will be customized to your facility and will be designed to accommodate both your energy conservation goals and the amount of resources you have to invest in energy savings. The results of the energy audit will include suggestions for steps to take that will have both short-term and long-term payback potentials.
For example, energy conservation steps that are likely to pay for themselves within five years include:
- Adding energy-efficiency components to HVAC systems, such as variable-speed fans and blowers.
- Changing lighting, such as eliminating the use of standard incandescent bulbs and installing energy-saving CFL bulbs or LED lighting systems.
- Installing better controls, such as programmable thermostats, motion sensors for lighting systems or timers that turn off lights and equipment when not in use.
- Increasing preventive maintenance on HVAC systems.
- Retrocommissioning the building to reestablish energy-saving policies and procedures.
Steps that are more likely to take five years or more for payback include:
- Replacing existing HVAC systems with high-efficiency units.
- Upgrading equipment and energy-using devices to Energy Star certified models.
- Replacing or rewiring lighting systems for improved control.
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 on the processes and benefits of a commercial energy audit and to view projects we’ve worked on, visit our website!