Energy audits are a great way to find energy conservation measures (ECM’s) which can lead to significant savings on a customer’s utility bill. Energy assessments are often performed by engineering companies, who will analyze a sites energy use to discover and recommend ECM’s. Energy users, small to large, can find cost effective ways to finance energy savings, resulting in more money in the customer’s pocket.
There are different levels of energy audits depending on the depth of the study. The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) describes the standards on three different levels of energy audits in their official handbook. Below is a summary of each level of auditing.
Level I Energy Audit
A level I audit consists of an analysis of a sites energy bills as well as a brief walkthrough of the building. A level I audit will show a site’s energy costs and a brief high level search for potential ECM’s. A level I audit may provide a rough cost analysis of certain ECM’s compared to their energy saving.
Level II Energy Audit
A level II audit builds upon information presented in a Level I audit. A level II audit will include a more in depth energy breakdown as well as a more in depth or multiple walkthroughs. Also, a list of potential ECM’s with their costs and associated savings are presented to the customer. A level II audit may include energy modeling and/or energy monitoring to provide a better understanding of a buildings energy use.
Level III Energy Audit
A level III audit provides the most detailed report out of the three levels, offering in depth pricing and savings on ECM opportunities. A level III audit will have a high level of confidence on savings and prices associated with implementing ECM’s at the building. An appropriate financing model may be suggested to the customer based on their financial requirements.
Energy audits provide a unique pathway for customers to save money. Energy conservation and cutting utility costs are extremely important as energy prices rise. Energy Audits are great investments for the future, often resulting in immediate returns and a quick payback.