ENERGY AUDITING SERVICES FOR COMMERCIAL & INDUSTRIAL BUILDINGS & SITES
ASHRAE and other entities have defined energy audits as “…processes in which engineering service providers identify and recommend efficiency opportunities to clients.” At West PA Systems, we like to think of an ‘Energy Audit’ for your building like ‘a Doctor’s checkup’ for your health… a review of vital signs, the state of the various systems that make up the whole, and an overall summary of health including diagnoses of issues that may be present, recommendations toward other diagnostics and/or specialist referrals, etc. Most people recognize the importance of a ‘Doctor’s Checkup’ in regard to monitoring and maintaining their health, but so often our modern buildings are neglected in regard to their overall performance regarding energy consumption, functionality, and even health & safety issues.
What is involved in a Commercial/Industrial Building Energy Audit?
Basically, there are three steps:
Step 1: Building owner/business operator must complete the following:
-Acquire 2 years of utility bills, including electricity & other fuels.
-Arrange a time for West PA Systems’ Energy Auditor to interview building owner/business operator for approx. 1 hour, and grant access to building for additional 1-2 hrs.
Step 2: Energy Auditor Onsite Interview(s) and Building System Inspection
-Approx 1hr: Energy Auditor will meet with building owner’s rep/business operator(s) to complete interviews regarding energy data, operational hours, functions of space, equipment, issues/points of concern, etc.
-1-2hrs: Allow Energy Auditor access to measure square footage of space, as well as inspect & document building systems such as: Lighting, HVAC (Heating & Cooling), Building Envelope (Roof, Walls, Foundation), Fenestration (Windows & Doors), Supplementary Loads and Business-Specific and Process-Based Energy Consumption.
Step 3: Building Energy Report delivery & optional One-on-One review
Energy Star Building Energy Benchmark:
EnergyStar Portfolio Manager website: https://www.energystar.gov/buildings/facility-owners-and-managers/existing-buildings/use-portfolio-manager
Portfolio Manager is an online software tool developed by the EPA and adopted by EnergyStar, where all of the Utility Data, Square Footage, as well as Building Type, Geographic Location and Occupancy information acquired during the energy auditors’ interviews and building inspection is inputted. Portfolio Manager cross-references this information with thousands of other buildings that have been entered into this software platform over the course of 15+ years. Given the normalization of Building Type, Location & Occupancy information across the thousands of buildings that have been inputted into the software since its inception, Portfolio Manager creates a score from 0-100 that is granted for the building based on the median of buildings that have been inputted into the system.
This Benchmark establishes several important metrics for analyzing building upgrade opportunities:
-Baseline Energy Usage: this is the starting point, where progress in energy efficiency begins to be measured.
-Create an understanding of how the building performs in relation to buildings that perform similar uses.
-Detect seasonal and other energy fluctuations that point to building system performance.
-Begin the process toward Energystar Certification for Energy Efficient Buildings!
ASHRAE* Level 1 Energy Audit Report
A written analysis and visual summary of the various systems present in your building, their efficiency, their relation to the functionality of the building as a whole, and other details as they pertain to the application. Those systems include:
-Lighting: includes all lighting systems and their controls, both indoors and outdoors.
-HVAC: Building Heating, Cooling and Ventilation systems.
-Building Envelope: this include all of the systems that make up the exterior boundaries of the building (i.e. roof, walls, foundation),
-Fenestration: all windows, doors and similar openings through the building envelope.
-Supplementary Loads: computers, electronic devices, electrical appliances, water heating, etc.
-Business-Type Specific & Process-Based Energy Consumption: most every business & industry uses energy in its own specific ways, from Restaurants to Factories, Offices, Healthcare, Service, Retail and everything in between. This section is devoted to those kind of building energy uses.
-Each section will include a written analysis, including project specific pictures of:
-Each building system’s current state, energy use projection, life-span and other items, based upon general information gathered during the building inspection.
-Identification of glaring areas of energy waste or inefficiency.
-Create basic system upgrade project ‘budgetary’ ranges and pay-backs, rated as:
‘Mid-Range up to $10K’
‘Investment Grade’ above $10K
Low-interest financing opportunities