Energy Audit Study

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. Three common audit programs are described in more detail 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 insure 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.


PRELIMINARY AUDIT

The preliminary audit alternatively called a simple audit, screening audit or walk-through audit, is the simplest and quickest type of audit. It involves minimal interviews with site operating personnel, a brief review of facility utility bills and other operating data, and a walk-through of the facility to become familiar with the building operation and identify glaring areas of energy waste or inefficiency. Typically, only major problem areas will be uncovered during this type of audit. Corrective measures are briefly described, and quick estimates of implementation cost, potential operating cost savings, and simple payback periods are provided. This level of detail, while not sufficient for reaching a final decision on implementing proposed measures, is adequate to prioritize energy efficiency projects and determine the need for a more detailed audit.


DETAILED ENERGY AUDIT

The detailed energy audit expands on the preliminary audit described above by collecting more detailed information about facility operation and performing a more detailed evaluation of energy conservation measures identified. Utility bills are collected for a 12 to 36 month period to allow the auditor to evaluate the facility’s energy/demand rate structures, and energy usage profiles. Additional metering of specific energy-consuming systems is often performed to supplement utility data. In-depth interviews with facility operating personnel are conducted to provide a better understanding of major energy consuming systems as well as insight into variations in daily and annual energy consumption and demand. This type of audit will be able to identify all energy conservation measures appropriate for the facility given its operating parameters. A detailed financial analysis is performed for each measure based on detailed implementation cost estimates, site-specific operating cost savings, and the customer’s investment criteria. Sufficient detail is provided to justify project implementation.