The lights are on, the air conditioning is running, the store is full of customers, and it is business as usual. To a business owner, this is a good thing. But as you look around your facility or store, how do you know how much energy you are using? What can be done to reduce your carbon footprint? How much money can be saved by simple improvements?
The answer is a thorough energy audit performed by a professional energy auditor. Not all buildings are the same, and each one offers different opportunities to conserve energy and lower your monthly costs.
How is an energy audit performed?
The purpose of the energy audit is to produce an energy audit report which is a written assessment of your building and the suggested conservation measures you should take. There are a few steps to the process:
- Gather and study historical energy use – This goes beyond looking at energy costs, as an auditor may interview facilities managers and maintenance staff, people who work with the mechanics of your building every day and know all aspects of it.
- Study the building’s characteristics – This takes into account age, insulation, types of lighting, HVAC equipment, refrigeration, data centers, air compressors, water equipment, and anything else inside or outside your building that is consuming energy. The auditor may take measurements and notes of light levels, temperatures, power draw among other things.
The result of all this investigating is a thorough energy audit report. In it is a description of the building, an examination of all the uses of power and most importantly, a list of proposed procedures and changes that will reduce power consumption and an expected cost to implement them.
This audit can be a vital tool that building owners can use to reduce their carbon footprint, install energy-saving equipment (such as LED lighting and solar panels), and ultimately reduce the cost of business as usual.