Why a Commercial Energy Audit Can Save Your Business Big Bucks
In a commercial setting, energy expenses can consume the majority of a company’s monthly operating budget. Heating and air conditioning are especially notable areas that require substantial monthly spending but can’t be ignored. Any air or energy leaks in the business’s HVAC system can increase those expenses considerably. A commercial energy audit can help your company identify and isolate the locations where you are using the most energy and, more importantly, where energy is being lost and money is being wasted.
What is a Commercial Energy Audit?
A commercial energy audit is a sophisticated process of inspecting, assessing, and analyzing the energy use in your commercial facility. The audit is specifically designed to locate areas of air leakage or energy loss that account for wasted resources.
A commercial energy audit can also reveal where you spend the most money on energy each month, giving you insight into your consumption patterns and identifying areas where you can focus conservation and energy reduction efforts. Implementing the changes indicated by a commercial energy audit can reduce your monthly energy expenses by as much as 40 percent.
What is Done During a Commercial Energy Audit?
Commercial energy audits can be very comprehensive, depending on the level of audit being performed. They usually involve both physical evaluation techniques and technical analysis and interpretation of conditions in your building. Some of the procedures include:
- Physical inspection of the facility: The auditor performs a walk-through inspection of your business building or facility, looking for areas where energy is being used and possibly wasted. Larger faults in the building’s structure can be identified, as can processes that are using too much energy. The auditor will look for factors that influence energy consumption, such as the building’s envelope and seal (airtightness), building condition, amount of insulation, building occupancy and usage types, and typical energy use patterns.
- Bill auditing: Electric bills can be audited and analyzed to identify patterns of energy use and to help isolate those areas where too much energy is being consumed. For example, unexplained spikes in energy costs could indicate a serious energy leak, a major problem with the HVAC system, or uncontrolled use of energy somewhere within your building.
- Inspection and testing of utility meters: Sometimes the electric meters installed by your local power company are faulty and indicate greater energy consumption than actually occurred. The auditor will be able to inspect and test these meters to ensure they are functioning properly.
Commercial Energy Audit Testing Procedures
Part of the commercial energy audit should include physical testing with several types of specialized, sophisticated devices.
- Blower door test: A blower door test, or infiltrometer test, can pinpoint even the smallest and hardest-to-find energy leaks in your building. The test requires mounting one or more large fans in an exterior door. When the fans are activated, they pull air out of the building and cause pressure changes that can show where holes, cracks, gaps, or other openings exist. The auditor may use other tools such as a smoke pencil, a device that emits a thin stream of smoke that wavers when placed near an active air leak.
- Duct testing: The auditory may inspect and test the ductwork in your HVAC system. Loose, disconnected, or poorly sealed ductwork sections can be a major source of conditioned air loss and energy waste.
- Thermographic scans: Thermographic imagers use infrared cameras to identify areas where energy is being lost through the walls, ceilings, or other surfaces of your building. They can, for example, reveal areas where there is not enough insulation or where air leaks are occurring in the structure.
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 commercial energy audits and how they can save your business significant amounts of money every month, and to view projects we’ve worked on, visit our website!