With energy prices hitting the stratosphere, you might be wondering if your facility needs a so-called “energy audit.” And chances are it does. But it’s not something we tend to consider every day, so you might also be asking yourself what an energy audit is and what it entails. In this article, therefore, we’ll give you a clear idea of that – and also discuss the benefits and possible costs. You can then make a decision.
Let’s define “energy audit” first.
What is an Energy Audit?
To put it simply, an energy audit is the inspection and analysis of all the energy your facility uses.
- It helps you understand the efficiency of the energy you use, locating inefficiencies or dirty power within your power sources.
- In addition, it enables you to reduce your energy consumption while increasing its efficiency, using data analysis to examine your energy resources, infrastructure, and energy bill.
- It suggests where you can gain cost reductions, a long-term sustainable energy solution, and a lower carbon footprint.
With those positives in mind, let’s move on to look at benefits in more detail so you can weigh up if you need that energy audit.
What is the Benefit of an Energy Audit?
There are in fact several benefits, not just one. Some short-term benefits – as we indicated – include
- helping you understand your usage,
- offering ways to use your energy better, and
- identifying immediate safety concerns.
However, the long-term benefits are the reason many organizations decide to have an energy audit and act on it. Why?
1 Your building’s face value increases
The energy audit report suggests improvements that are cost-efficient and produce better results long term. For example, LED lighting to improve safety, increase efficiency, and be environmentally friendly. This and many other alterations improve the value of your building.
2 Your operational costs decrease
Identifying which areas of your facility are costing you more to run – perhaps because they need power factor correction – means you can make alterations that
- reduce your costs and
- keep your energy bill low in the future.
3 Equipment lifespan improves
As part of your business energy audit, your energy advisor checks all equipment for malfunctions and poor use of energy. This enables you to keep your machines properly maintained, increases their lifespan and efficiency, and saves you money on replacements.
4 Your carbon footprint decreases
If you act on the results of your energy use audit, you can implement greener and more efficient systems within your facility, waste less energy, and decrease your carbon footprint. In today’s commercial world, many shareholders and customers expect sustainable and eco-friendly credentials. An energy audit is good for your business’s reputation!
5 You remove health and safety risks
The audit highlights areas of risk for your staff. You can, for example, replace old lighting in poorly lit areas of your industrial or commercial property with brighter yet less power-hungry systems. Or reduce the possibility of carbon monoxide escaping from older machinery.
Above all, both short-term and long-term benefits of an energy audit are in your business interests. And crucially for your ROI, commissioning an energy audit points the way to reducing your energy costs by quite a large percentage per bill cycle.
But what are the different types of audits? What are your options? Let’s dive right into that.
What Type of Energy Audits Are There?
ASHRAE has defined three levels of audits:
- A Walk-Through Analysis – Conducting a walk-through allows the auditor to inspect all areas, learn about your facilities, and catch problems quickly.
- An Energy Survey and Analysis – A detailed analysis of the findings, recommendations, and a budget analysis for those recommendations.
- A Detailed Analysis of Capital-Intensive Modifications – A detailed and elaborate project description, budget needed, and a list of measures you can take to increase your power efficiency.
Other options include:
- Data Analysis of Utility Bills – Scrutinizing your energy bill to learn consumption in your building and how to correct certain items.
- DIY Energy Audit – A checklist of repairs you can do to increase the efficiency of your power, such as fixing leaks or sealing cracks.
We can hear you asking about costs!
Is an Energy Audit Expensive?
The price of an audit greatly depends on the business. However, consulting with an energy advisor guarantees you’re given the best price for the type of organization you have. Try us now?
Of course, the price varies according to a few factors:
The level of audit provided
As with anything, the bigger the job, the more expensive. The need to look deeper based on the findings will also influence the cost.
The size of the facility
The bigger your facility, the more it will cost. Small facilities with fewer systems to audit need less time.
The type of organization you have
A mid-range to a large manufacturing company with larger square footage costs more than a small one-floor building. It also depends on the machinery used within your space.
The scope of work that’s assessed
The scope of work has many factors. It depends on whether you require the interior versus exterior of the building to be assessed. Do you have one building or multiple buildings?
When the scope of work involves the interior of the building, the assessment might include:
- building conditions, and
- the layout of your technology.
From here, other variables may increase the cost of remedying things. For instance, is the technology used in your facility outdated? Are your walls appropriately insulated?
Factors that affect the scope of work regarding the exterior of the building include:
- foundation issues or roof damage,
- cracks in walls,
- windows (their shape, size, and orientation),
- outdoor lighting,
- HVAC system,
- shading, and
- backup power systems such as generators.
In other words, auditing the exterior of the building involves more work and further affects your audit costs.
However, the most important thing to bear in mind when considering the value of an energy audit is the likely ROI – to put your investment into perspective.
So, Do You Need An Audit? We Can Help!
At Rapid Power Management, we specialize in energy management and lowering energy costs for businesses like yours. Power quality audits, power factor correction, and cleaning up dirty power – it’s all in our DNA as your one-stop shop for lowering your bills.
Why not send us a bill for a free analysis and find out more? Contact us today!