How to Prepare Your Business for an Energy Audit
Eco-conscious consumers influence the way companies to conduct business. Sustainable goods and services are in high demand, and environmentally degrading companies are closing. Companies can stay competitive in the industry when reducing greenhouse gas emissions and increasing energy efficiency.
On his first day in office, President Biden signed the U.S. onto the Paris Agreement. The document projects our commercial and residential efforts to reduce climate change. Businesses can schedule an energy audit to determine their environmental shortcomings and adopt sustainable practices.
What is an Energy Audit?
Energy audits assess a business’s holistic electricity use. A professional conducts the assessment, evaluating flaws in energy absorbing devices. The consultant compiles their findings into easily digestible graphs and charts.
The consultant examines the building’s heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system, exhaust devices, environmental interference, operation hours and times, lighting structure and more. Business owners can evaluate the assessment results and determine an energy efficiency enhancement plan.
Professionals utilize one of two assessment methods- the preliminary or detailed audit. The building’s size, function and industry type determine the consultant’s approach. They also evaluate the business owners desired utility bill reduction and energy savings.
The preliminary audit is a simple analysis of a building’s performance and energy use. It requires limited measurements and data collection, taking a relatively short assessment time. A preliminary audit typically caters to small businesses looking for their general energy statistics.
The detailed, or diagnostic, audit requires more in-depth evaluation. A professional takes measurements and data inventory of pumps, heating systems, air compression and more. The assessment results are comprehensive and provide specific improvement recommendations.
Both of the audit methods benefit the business. Sustainable individuals comprise the largest customer base, solely supporting eco-conscious companies. The assessment results can offer business owners the information they need to increase their energy efficiency. Conducting energy alteration can also help the company save money on their utility bills.
When it comes time to schedule an energy audit, there are various preparation steps a business owner can take. These assessments can significantly help your company when conducted correctly. It is helpful to have all materials, documents and questions ready on assessment day.
The consultant’s safety should be on the top of your list when preparing for an audit. Inform the professional of any required safety training they need before the assessment. Also, ensure an extra set of personal protective equipment is ready for the consultant when they arrive.
You can help move the process along by compiling past energy bills. The consultant may compare previous costs with the assessment results, identifying major energy loss regions. You can gather basic building facts to answer any questions the assessor may have accurately.
It is also essential to examine the consultant’s credentials before they complete the audit. If they have an engineering license or a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering, they can adequately meet the job. A qualified professional may also be an Association of Energy Engineers Certified Energy Manager or Energy Management Professional.
Energy Efficiency Improvements
A building’s biggest energy consumers are the HVAC system, lighting and major appliances. Each pulls significant amounts of electricity from the grid, increasing a company’s utility costs and carbon footprint. Business owners can conduct systematic improvements to improve their building’s energy efficiency.
Performing routine HVAC maintenance can decrease the amount of energy it utilizes. Technicians can clean the equipment, change the filter, add lubrication, check the connectivity and calibrate the thermostat. You should also replace broken parts immediately to preserve the system’s functions.
You utilize LED light bulbs in your building to decrease unnecessary energy pulling. LED bulbs use 75% less energy than conventional lights. They also last 25 times longer, generating less waste over time.
Water heaters are major appliances that increase one’s utility costs. Buildings can increase their energy efficiency by installing a solar water heater. The system generates zero carbon emissions, shrinking a company’s footprint and decreasing its reliance on the grid.
Enhance Your Energy Efficiency
Energy audits benefit businesses struggling with high carbon emissions and costly utility bills. Assessments can unveil a building’s energy efficiency issues, helping the business owner adopt sustainable solutions. After you increase the energy efficiency of your building, your customer appeal will increase as your utility bill drops.
Jane works as the founder and editor-in-chief of Environment.co where she covers environmental news and sustainable living tips.