Commercial Energy Audits
All energy management programs must begin with some sort of energy audit. If it’s not measured, there’s no way to know if any change has been made; without some sort of audit or plan, there’s no way to know what should be measured. The primary purpose of the initial energy audit is identification. Subsequent audits can be used to dig into the details in order to estimate the savings potential and measure results.Successful energy management is not a one-time activity. It requires continuous work, enforcement, evaluation and adjustment. If it’s not working, find out why. Make corrections or do something else.
Types of Audits
The Walk-Through – Level 1
The most common audit is the ‘Walk-Through’ (Walk-Thru). A walk-thru energy audit may be performed by a sales person attempting to make a case for their product, a utility representative, university students, retired engineers, in-house personnel such as members of an energy committee, hired consultants or any combination of these. The walk-thru may be for the entire facility lasting several hours or days, or be focused on one specific area. Generally what defines a walk-thru from a detailed analysis is that no/minimal instruments are used/measurements taken and all data is gathered at one time. The primary purpose of the walk-thru is to identify major areas of energy usage and prioritize savings potential.
Detailed Audit – Level 2
The Detailed energy audit typically starts with a walk-thru that identified potential savings that required a detailed audit to confirm. A detailed audit typically focuses on certain areas of the facility in extensive detail. Measurements are taken and data gathered over an extended period of time. The data is evaluated and calculations made to determine cost and savings potential of making changes. Detailed audits can take several days to several months to complete.
Comprehensive Audit – Investment Grade Audit – Level 3
The Level 3 Audit is required when the project may be very complicated and/or expensive. This audit may take several days to gather data and several weeks or months to evaluate the results and come to recommendations. The results will also likely include engineering design with enough detail that it can be used to obtain cost bids to complete the project. This type of audit is typically only done on very large facilities with very complicated and expensive projects.
Energy Audit Components and Details
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