07 Apr Energy Audits – A Smart Way to Save Energy
What is an Energy Audit?
An Energy Audit is the process of identification, survey and the analysis of Energy usage in a building. It is done to optimize the energy usage of the system i.e. Keeping the outputs the same while reducing the energy consumption. A successful energy audit results in energy and cost saving while also reducing the overall carbon footprint.
During an energy audit, health and safety are the primary concerns, while reducing energy consumption and maintaining human comfort. An energy audit seeks to prioritize the energy uses according to the most cost effective technique while keeping in mind the comfort levels.
With the publication of ANSI/ASHRAE/ACCA Standard 211-2018, energy audits can now be counted on to ensure consistency, accuracy and quality. The ASHRAE Commercial Buildings Energy Audits Reference defines best practices for energy survey and analysis for purchasers and providers of energy audit services.
The Energy Audit Process
The energy auditing process can be separated into two main steps, shown below:
- Walk-Through Analysis: Energy Auditor Inspection and Interview
The auditor will perform multiple tests throughout the building, take measurements, interview building owners and occupants, and locate energy-saving opportunities. In total, this process usually takes between two to four hours to complete.
- Energy Survey and Analysis: Report and Implementation
Following the initial appointment, the auditor will provide a full description of problematic energy areas and then offer recommendations for energy systems partially based off of occupant tendencies.
Purpose of Energy Audits:
- Enhance building performance by saving energy and reducing operational costs.
- Identify and resolve building system operation, control and maintenance problems.
- Reduce or eliminate occupant complaints and increase tenant satisfaction.
- Improve indoor environmental comfort and quality + Reduce associated liability.
- Document system operations.
- Analyze the Operations & Maintenance (O&M) personnel training needs and provide such training.
- Minimize operational risk and increase asset value.
- Extend equipment life-cycle.
- Ensure the persistence of improvements over the building’s life.
- Address code issues.
Benefits of Energy Audits
- Greater Comfort – Energy Efficient homes are inherently comfortable because of better insulation, better cooling and fixed heating leaks.
- Improved Indoor Air Quality – During an energy audit, focus is also given on how the indoor air quality can be increased. The ventilation and Air Conditioning is scrutinized for proper operation.
- Greater Building Durability – One of the major aims of an energy audit is to ensure building longevity and durability. Attention is paid to leaks, moisture levels, ventilation and sun-proofing so as to maintain the buildings health.
- Higher Resale Value – With the energy prices increasing all the time, the value of energy efficient buildings always ensures high market value of your house as much as 20%. A little investment now ensures your home is valued higher than its counterparts down the road.
The Cotocon Group has energy audit professionals with vast experience. Use of technology such as thermal simulations and the use of experience goes a long way in creating the best audit report.
In New York City, laws like the Local Law 87, require buildings larger than 50,000 sq. ft. to have an energy audit once every 10 years. The Local Law 87 requires a licensed Professional Engineer to oversee the work and The Cotocon Group handles these regularly. Similarly, Local Law 84 states that as of May 1, 2011 all buildings 50,000 square feet and larger must be ENERGY STAR Benchmarked and report their building’s energy & water use. These laws are the results of New York City’s PlaNYC, which aims to reduce wasted energy in buildings. Which are the greatest source of pollution in NYC.
The Cotocon Group can manage Local Law 84 requirements and start saving you money on building operations, making your building more competitive. We have a group of experienced professionals qualified to carry out these tasks.