A Workplace Energy Audit Can Find Trouble Spots That Increase Everyday Energy Consumption
As budgets tighten in today’s business environment, it becomes increasingly important to find areas where expenses can be trimmed in your company’s daily operations. Since energy consumption is one of the biggest items in any commercial facility’s budget, your use of energy for heating and cooling is a logical place to begin searching for savings.
The Purpose of a Workplace Energy Audit
A workplace energy audit will show you where your business uses the most energy. With that information, you’ll find out where to make changes to reduce energy consumption while still maintaining a reasonable level of indoor comfort. An energy audit can help you find areas where additional insulation, high-efficiency equipment, structural changes, or commercial maintenance can trim energy use. Perhaps more importantly, a workplace energy audit makes it clear where energy is simply being wasted, which tells you where you need to concentrate your efforts to achieve better results at less cost.
Conducting a Workplace Energy Audit
You can conduct your own workplace energy audit or hire a professional auditor to inspect your commercial space. If you decide to do your own audit, remember it could require considerable amounts of time and effort. Decide beforehand whether the resources required to do your own audit would be better spent on your business activities instead. The better choice is to hire a professional energy auditor to assess your workplace. Professional auditors have the training, specialized equipment, and knowledge required to conduct an efficient audit that returns reliable data you can act on immediately.
Information Required for a Workplace Energy Audit
A workplace energy audit requires collecting as much detail as possible on the characteristics of your commercial facility. By gathering this information before the audit begins, you’ll save time for your auditor and will receive a much more valuable result. Information needed includes:
- Energy use for the previous year, including electric bills, water bills and fuel bills. Energy consumption levels, times of highest demand and utility rates should be included.
- Utility meter status, including verification of proper operation and energy flow.
- Average thermostat settings and temperature preferences of building occupants.
- Physical characteristics of your commercial building, including total square footage, amount of total space used and for what purpose, number of floors, directional orientation, presence of energy-saving features, average ceiling height and condition of the building’s seal or airtightness.
- Data on building occupancy, number of employees, type of business activity, number of business hours per day and days per week, and business equipment commonly used.
- Type of energy used in the facility and the age, efficiency and condition of the HVAC system, including air conditioners, heat pumps, furnaces or boilers.
- Number and percentage of walls exposed to the elements, walls shared with other buildings, and walls with windows installed.
- Amount and location of insulation in walls, ceilings and floors.
Type, location, wattage and usage of indoor and outdoor lighting. Your auditor will be able to conduct several on-site tests and assessments, including:
- Blower door test: A blower door or infiltrometer test shows where air and energy leaks are occurring in your facility. A large fan is mounted in an exterior door and, when it’s activated, pressure changes reveal sources of air leaks.
- Thermographic scans: Thermographic and infrared scans provide visual evidence of areas where heat is being lost and where insulation could be improved.
- Temperature monitoring: Surface thermometers and other temperature measuring devices show where walls are hotter or colder than expected. This also indicates areas where more insulation would be helpful.
- HVAC testing: Testing of HVAC equipment and ductwork indicates system efficiency, the presence of air leaks in the ductwork, and other factors that could be causing wasted energy throughout the HVAC system.
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 how a workplace energy audit can help you save energy and money every month, and to view projects we’ve worked on, visit our website!