What is an Energy Audit?

What is an energy audit?

The primary objective of an energy audit is to determine ways to reduce energy consumption per unit of product output or to lower operating costs. Energy audits provide a “bench-mark” for managing energy in a home or business and also provides the basis for planning a more effective use of energy throughout the organization.
Why do you need to do an energy audit?

In any industry, the three top operating expenses are often found to be energy (both electrical and thermal), labour and materials. If one were to relate to the manageability of the cost or potential cost savings in each of the above components, energy would invariably emerge as a top ranker, and thus energy management function constitutes a strategic area for cost reduction. An energy audit will help you to understand more about the ways energy and fuel are used in any industry, and help in identifying the areas where waste can occur and where scope for improvement exists.

An energy audit would give a positive orientation to the energy cost reduction, preventive maintenance and quality control programmes which are vital for production and utility activities. Such an audit programme will help to keep focus on variations which occur in the energy costs, availability and reliability of supply of energy, decide on appropriate energy mix, identify energy conservation technologies, retrofit for energy conservation equipment etc.

The primary objective of Energy Audit is to determine ways to reduce energy consumption per unit of product output or to lower operating costs. Energy Audit provides a “ bench- mark” (Reference point) for managing energy in the organization and also provides the basis for planning a more effective use of energy throughout the organization.

Type of Energy Audit

The type of energy audit to be performed depends on:
• The function and type of industry.
• Depth to which the final audit is needed.
• The potential and magnitude of cost reduction desired.

What are the benefits of energy audits?

The benefits of well-structured Energy Audits are:

  • optimized energy consumption
  • lower energy expenses
  • increased production reliability
  • increased productivity and efficiency
  • increased comfort of building occupants
  • reduced environmental impacts

Specialist Focus Areas

  • Solar water heater sizing
  • Heat Pump sizing and design
  • Smart Metering
  • Energy Management Systems
  • Renewable Energy Studies
  • Solar PV Assessment
  • Renewable Readiness Program
  • Energy Logging
  • Load Reduction
  • Power Factor Correction
  • Energy Efficiency Programs

Factors considered in our energy surveys

  • Building envelope
  • Lighting
  • HVAC
  • Refrigeration / cold rooms
  • Heat exchange opportunities
  • Domestic and process hot water
  • Process Equipment
  • Ancillary Equipment
  • Power Factor Correction
  • Load Balancing

Levels of Energy Audits
There are various levels of energy audits available as follows:

  • Level 1 – Historical Analysis & Bill Analysis
  • Level 2 – Walk-Thru Audit
  • Level 3 – Energy Analysis
  • Level 4 – Investment Grade Audits
  • Generally accepted research indicates that companies can decrease their energy consumption by up to 27 percent by applying several techniques, including decision support, managing demand and operational efficiency. Given that typical companies spend on average between 7 and 12 percent of their annual budgets on energy, a focus on reducing energy consumption can have significant bottom-line impact.
  • Additionally, energy costs have generally been rising and there are no indications that this trend will change, potentially putting companies at a competitive disadvantage. The increasing demand of energy remains one of the main issues for the SA government. Aiming at avoiding the power shortages crisis occurring during 2008, NERSA and Eskom have been commissioned by the SA Government to implement an Energy Conservation Program which is expected to be implemented within next 12 months.
  • While there is a growing awareness that this is a problem to be solved, most businesses struggle with how to deal with this energy cost situation, not being sure of what specific actions should be taken to address it.
  • As with any worthy business problem that is large and complex, it’s important to gather information before taking costly actions so that you can focus actions on the most fruitful areas. But where do you get the information? Analysing delayed information of a Utility bill is cumbersome and does not provide a rich understanding of how energy is spent and how it could be optimized.
  • This is where “energy intelligence”, literally a business intelligence approach applied to energy use within a company, comes into play. An energy intelligence system can integrate data from islands of energy usage information (building management systems, building and equipment sensors, utilities, etc.) and combine it with other operational data from your enterprise applications (supply chain, manufacturing, HR, finance, customer relationship management, asset management, etc.) to provide visibility to trends in usage, costs and efficiencies – across all
    locations, sub-locations, and building systems. By bringing this information together in one place and providing BI capabilities – trending graphs, dashboards, near real-time monitors, exception alerts, location-comparison reports and detailed analysis capabilities – an Energy Intelligence system can help company leaders understand where efficiencies are and help them make informed decisions about what actions will provide the most return.
  • Built on a combination of BI technology, Business Performance Management techniques and expertise in Energy Management, Energy Intelligence has built a unique and cost effective value proposition that enables companies to understand and address their energy pains. Our platform integrates with any Meter Data Collection infrastructure.
  • Our solution provides the visibility your company needs to identify ways you can make significant energy-related cost reductions. By looking at this information over time, our solution can also help show which improvements are actually providing the intended benefits, and measure the return of such investments.