Apollo Assist - Commercial
Why Have a Building Energy Audit Performed?
There are several reasons having an energy audit done is the right decision for most building owners.
To Reduce Your Operation Expenses, Increase Your Profit
In these days of uncertainty, it is important to keep operating expenses to a minimum. One difference between companies that weather these difficult times and those which do not survive, will be that the survivors will have reduced their unnecessary expenditures before it is too late.
Unnecessary costs include costs for energy you don’t need to use. In the past many companies have just considered utilities as “a cost of doing business.” By running an inefficient building, you are overpaying your utility for energy. It just doesn’t make any sense.
A good building energy audit will point the way to reduce your energy costs by 10% to 40%.
For large organizations, this can be substantial, and could mean the difference between staying afloat and going under.
To Determine Which Are the Best Building Energy Efficiency Measures
There are so many vendors peddling their energy efficient devices which are supposed to save energy–most of them do, but some don’t. Just because a device saves energy does not mean it is a good investment. And even if it is a good investment, there may be better energy efficiency investments available.
For example triple-pane windows that you hear advertised on the radio usually save energy, but for some buildings, they will actually result in an increase in energy usage. It is usually a better investment to replace your incandescent light bulbs with CFLs than it is to change out your windows. So how do you determine what are the best energy conservation measures for your building? That is what an energy audit is for.
What is a Commercial Energy Audit?
The term energy audit appears to refer to two distinct things: An energy audit is the process of having a professional energy auditor assess your building for energy savings opportunities. The term energy audit also is used to refer to the result of the energy assessment process, the energy audit report. We will try to keep these terms separate by referring to the report as an “energy audit report.”
An energy audit report is a carefully thought out plan, which, if followed, will lead you to reduced energy costs. Every building is different, and each contains different opportunities which can reduce energy usage. This is why every different building requires its own unique energy audit.
During the energy audit, an energy auditor will visit your site and interview your facility manager, inspect your lighting, air conditioning, heating and ventilation equipment, controls, refrigeration, air compressors, water consuming equipment, and anything else that is using energy. Depending on the type of the audit, the auditor may take measurements of temperatures, pressures, light levels, power draw, and other things.
An energy audit report typically contains a description of the building’s existing energy consuming equipment, an energy balance and most importantly, a presentation of feasible energy conservation measures (ECMs). Each of these measures are developed so that the report includes:
- a description of the existing conditions
- a description of the proposed ECM
- expected annual savings associated with the ECM
- expected cost to implement the ECM
- simple payback and/or other financial measures, such as return on investment or life cycle savings
Some of the ECMs identified in the audit will take decades to pay for themselves, while others will start paying for themselves within months. Once you have the audit in hand, you can make good decisions as to where to invest your energy efficiency money.
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