Which Type of Energy Audit is Right For Your Facility?
A facility energy audit can help you identify energy waste, improve efficiencies and save money. Energy audits come in different shapes and sizes, but there are three main types for commercial facilities.
Level 1: Preliminary audit
Also known as a walkthrough audit, this entails going through a building to identify the equipment and technology being used. It is a cursory review to look for energy-saving opportunities. It may take as little as a few hours to complete.
Level 2: Energy survey and analysis
The second level is more system-oriented. It entails taking measurements and readings throughout a facility, identifying what the systems are and how they operate. It may take anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks to complete.
Level 3: Investment-grade audit
For a third-level audit, the systems are analyzed at the component level. This is generally done with a bigger goal in mind, such as the replacement of large equipment or a facility-wide lighting upgrade. This audit is more costly, and it may take a number of weeks or months to complete.
Which type of energy audit is right for you? It depends on the size and type of your facility, your budget and your energy-saving goals. Work with a qualified energy professional select the best option for your needs.
How to find an energy auditor
Energy auditing services are offered by energy consultants and engineering firms, as well as energy services companies (ESCOs). ESCOs not only identify efficiency improvements, they also provide financing and installation services. Depending on the size of your facility and the scope of the audit, the process may involve a single individual or a team of specialists.
Professional certification makes sure your service provider is trained in the auditing process. Certifying organizations include ASHRAE and the Association of Energy Engineers (AEE).
To locate an ESCO in your area, go to the National Association of Energy Service Companies’ provider search. The U.S. Department of Energy’s Industrial Assessment Center provides no-cost energy audits for qualifying manufacturing facilities.