Energy Audit includes following steps
Step 1 – Interview with Key Facility Personnel
During the initial audit, a meeting is scheduled between the auditor and all key operating personnel to kick off the project. The meeting agenda focuses on: audit objectives and scope of work, facility rules and regulations, roles and responsibilities of project team members, and description of scheduled project activities. In addition to thee administrative issues, the discussion during this meeting seeks to establish: operating characteristics of the facility, energy system specifications, operating and maintenance procedures, preliminary areas of investigation, unusual operating constraints, anticipated future plant expansions or changes in product mix, and other concerns related to facility operations.
Step 2 – Facility Tour
After the initial meeting, a tour of the facility is arranged to observe the various operations first hand, focusing on the major energy consuming systems identified during the interview, including the architectural, lighting and power, mechanical, and process energy systems.
Step 3 – Document Review
During the initial visit and subsequent kick-off meeting, available facility documentation are reviewed with facility representatives. This documentation should include all available architectural and engineering plans, facility operation and maintenance procedures and logs, and utility bills for the previous three years. It should be noted that the available plans should represent “as-built” rather than “design” conditions. Otherwise, there may be some minor discrepancies between the systems evaluated as part of the audit and those actually installed at the facility.
Step 4 – Facility Inspection
After a thorough review of the construction and operating documentation, the major energy consuming processes in the facility are further investigated. Where appropriate, field measurements are collected to substantiate operating parameters.
Step 5 – Staff Interviews
Subsequent to the facility inspection, the audit team meets again with the facility staff to review preliminary findings and the recommendations being considered. Given that the objective of the audit is to identify projects that have high value to the customer, management input at this juncture helps establish the priorities that form the foundation of the energy audit. In addition, interviews were scheduled with key representatives designated by the facility as having information relevant to the energy audit. These representatives may include major energy consuming system service and maintenance contractors and utility representatives.
Step 6 – Utility Analysis
The utility analysis is a detailed review of energy bills from the previous 12 to 36 months. This should include all purchased energy, including electricity, natural gas, fuel oil, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and purchased steam, as well as any energy generated on site. If possible, energy data is obtained and reviewed prior to visiting the facility to insure that the site visit focuses on the most critical areas. Billing data reviewed includes energy usage, energy demand and utility rate structure. The utility data is normalized for changes in climate and facility operation and used as a baseline to compute projected energy savings for evaluated ECM’s. Utilities generally offer a comprehensive portfolio of rate tariffs and riders that can be tailored to the energy consumption and demand of the end-user. In addition, with the advent of deregulation, energy can be purchased on contract from a number of third party marketers. Using energy consumption/demand characteristics revealed by a detailed analysis of recent utility bills, the optimum energy supply options is identified. In addition, given the high cost of purchased energy it may be cost-effective to produce some of the facility’s energy requirements on-site. Options may include: power generators for emergency power and peak-shaving, solar panels, wind power and co-generation.
Step 7 – Identify/Evaluate Feasible ECMs
Typically, an energy audit will uncover both major facility modifications requiring detailed economic analysis and minor operation modifications offering simple and/or quick paybacks. A list of major ECMs is developed for each of the major energy consuming systems (i.e., envelope, HVAC, lighting, power, and process). Based upon a final review of all information and data gathered about the facility, and based on the reactions obtained from the facility personnel at the conclusion of the field survey review, a finalized list of ECMs (energy conservation measures) is developed and reviewed with the facility manager.
Step 8 – Economic Analysis
Data collected during the audit is processed and analyzed back in our offices. We build models and simulations with software to reproduce our field observations and develop a baseline against which to measure the energy savings potential of ECMs identified. We then calculate the implementation cost, energy savings and simple payback for each of the ECMs being investigated.
Step 9 – Prepare a Report Summarizing Audit Findings
The results of our findings and recommendations are summarized in a final report. The report includes a description of the facilities and their operation, a discussion of all major energy consuming systems, a description of all recommended ECMs with their specific energy impact, implementation costs, benefits and payback. The report incorporates a summary of all the activities and effort performed throughout the project with specific conclusions and recommendations.
Step 10 – Review Recommendations with Facility Management
A formal presentation of the final recommendations are presented to facility management to supply them with sufficient data on benefits and costs to make a decision on which ECMs to be implemented.