Increasingly in the last several decades, industrial energy audits have exploded as the demand to lower increasingly expensive energy costs and move towards a sustainable future have made energy audits greatly important. Their importance is magnified since energy spending is a major expense to industrial companies (energy spending accounts for ~ 10% of the average manufacturer’s expenses). This growing trend should only continue as energy costs continue to rise.
While the overall concept is similar to a home or residential energy audit, industrial energy audits require a different skillset. Weatherproofing and insulating a house are the main focus of residential energy audits. For industrial applications, weatherproofing and insulating often are minor concerns. In industrial energy audits, it is the HVAC, lighting, and production equipment that use the most energy.
Types of energy audit
The term energy audit is commonly used to describe a broad spectrum of energy studies ranging from a quick walk-through of a facility to identify major problem areas to a comprehensive analysis of the implications of alternative energy efficiency measures sufficient to satisfy the financial criteria of sophisticated investors. Numerous audit procedures have been developed for non-residential (tertiary) buildings . Audit is required to identify the most efficient and cost-effective Energy Conservation Opportunities (ECOs) or Measures (ECMs). Energy conservation opportunities (or measures) can consist in more efficient use or of partial or global replacement of the existing installation.
When looking to the existing audit methodologies developed in IEA EBC Annex 11, by ASHRAE and by Krarti (2000), it appears that the main issues of an audit process are:
- The analysis of building and utility data, including study of the installed equipment and analysis of energy bills;
- The survey of the real operating conditions;
- The understanding of the building behaviour and of the interactions with weather, occupancy and operating schedules;
- The selection and the evaluation of energy conservation measures;
- The estimation of energy saving potential;
- The identification of customer concerns and needs.
Common types/levels of energy audits are distinguished below, although the actual tasks performed and level of effort may vary with the consultant providing services under these broad headings. The only way to ensure that a proposed audit will meet your specific needs is to spell out those requirements in a detailed scope of work. Taking the time to prepare a formal solicitation will also assure the building owner of receiving competitive and comparable proposals.
Types of Audit
- Preliminary Energy Audit
- Targeted Energy Audit
- Detailed Energy Audit