An energy audit is the key to a systematic approach to decision-making in the area of energy management. The primary function of an energy audit is to identify all of the energy streams in a facility in order to balance total energy input with energy use. The four main objectives of an energy audit are as follows:
To establish an energy consumption baseline
To quantify energy usage according to its discrete functions
To benchmark with similar facilities under similar weather conditions
To identify existing energy cost reduction opportunities
Energy audits vary in depth, depending on the potential at a specific site for energy and cost reductions and the project parameters set by the client. As per ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers) standards, there are three types of audits, outlined below.
ASHRAE Level 2 – Energy Survey And Analysis
A Level 2 audit includes the preliminary ASHRAE Level 1 analysis, but also includes more detailed energy calculations and financial analysis of proposed energy efficiency measures. The financial analysis or Life Cycle Cost Analysis provides the facility owner with comprehensive understanding of the financial benefits of implementing specific energy efficiency measures. Utility bills are collected for a 24 to 36 month period to allow the auditor to evaluate the facility’s energy/demand rate structures and energy usage profiles. This type of audit identifies all energy conservation measures appropriate for the facility given its operating parameters. A detailed financial analysis is performed for each measure based on implementation cost estimates, site-specific operating cost savings, and the customer’s investment criteria. Sufficient detail is provided to justify project implementation.
Data collection is completed according to the latest edition of Procedures for Commercial Building Energy Audits published by ASRAE. Forms and reports are generated according to the level of audit and to performance or