Energy Audits: A Business Owner’s Guide
If your energy costs are high but you are unsure of the best ways to reduce energy usage, you could benefit from an energy audit with the help of Verde. Here we’ll go over the fundamentals of energy audits and how they can help you find ways to improve your business’s energy efficiency.
What’s a Commercial Business Energy Audit?
The main purpose of energy audits is to help businesses determine the most effective and least expensive ways to reduce their energy use. Energy audits provide all of the information surrounding a facility’s energy use, including how, when, and where it’s used throughout the building. Energy audits also include details about the business’s current electric expenses and explains how the costs apply to the facility.
The audit comes with financial and engineering analyses along with a list of suggested alterations that can help improve energy savings. The energy audit applies a ranking to the designated modifications that will depend on the specific benefits that come with them.
Why Have a Business Energy Audit?
In many cases, businesses spend more than they need to on energy use, when those costs could go toward a different area of business and contribute to capital. An energy audit will enable you to see which areas of your business are spending more money on electric than they would with more efficient solutions. With the help of the knowledgeable energy consultants here at Verde, you’ll learn the specifics of how your facility uses energy and how much that energy costs.
Following a comprehensive energy audit, you can determine which steps to take to help you not only save money, but also make your business more sustainable and environmentally friendly in the long-term.
What’s Part of an Energy Audit?
There are several aspects of an energy audit to consider, all of which will depend on the type of business and facility that’s undergoing the audit. Some of the factors that go into an energy audit include:
Energy Audit Level
One of the most important aspects of an energy audit is the level chosen based on what’s best for the business. Depending on the project and the recommended level, additional steps may be required to address certain items found during the previous level.
There are three different energy audit levels, which the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air-Conditioning Engineers, Inc. (ASHRAE) defines:
Level 1: Walk-through Analysis
This level culminates in the most unquantified and obvious assessment of certain small, quick changes that can reduce energy costs.
Level 2: Energy Survey and Engineering Analysis
Level 2 provides organized, prioritized and quantified recommendations for modifications that can simplify the process of making business decisions and deciding on budgeting for each change.
Level 3: Detailed Analysis of Capital-Intensive Modifications
This level presents in-depth project cost and energy savings calculations that can significantly help businesses make capital investment decisions.
Another factor will include the overall size of the facility. Larger buildings with more space and a higher number of floors will cost more to audit than smaller facilities.
Certain types of businesses will use and require more energy than others. For instance, a facility that requires sufficient lighting for a large space with a variety of machines and processes operating simultaneously will cost more to run. On the other hand, a smaller retail space won’t require as much energy, particularly when closed.
Overall Scope of the Assessment
The audit of a building’s interior will cost far less than that of an entire plaza or campus consisting of multiple buildings. In the case of larger properties with several buildings, assessments will be required for each building’s interior and exterior.
Interior aspects of an audit will include:
- Technology and equipment — The condition and overall age of equipment will have an impact on energy-efficiency
- Condition of the building — Insulation, wall, and ceiling conditions will all influence energy consumption
- Equipment layout — The organization of equipment in more isolated locations will lead to more concentrated energy
Exterior considerations include:
- Damage — Any damage that roofs, walls, or foundations have sustained
- Insulation — The amount, condition, and type of insulation found in foundation, walls, and the roof
- Roof access — The effect on stack effect, impact, and air infiltration
- Stains — Any trapped moisture, water infiltration, blockage, drain spout omission, or site drain paths
- Exterior lighting — Outdoor lighting for buildings, parking lots, landscapes, etc.
- Utility service — Gas or electric supplies, meter location, and number of meters
- HVAC equipment — The type, efficiency, condition, capacity, and location of equipment
- Backup power — Fuel source, capacity, and type of generators
- Building shading — Overhangs, trees, and other buildings, among other shading sources
- Window orientation — The size, quantity, and the directions that windows face
Any readily available documentation will help move the audit along and require less research.
How Much Does an Energy Audit Cost?
While many consultants charge for energy audits based on all of the factors mentioned, along with readily available documentation, at Verde, you can benefit from a free comprehensive energy assessment. You won’t need to spend more than you need to on any assessment with the help of our experts. We’ll look at every aspect of your facility and provide detailed analyses of your energy usage.
Following our assessment, we’ll help you determine the best ways to maximize energy efficiency and reduce expenses.
Who Does Energy Audits?
Here at Verde, we can provide energy audits that cover every factor needed to determine how your facility uses gas and electric energy. We can then install a solution that helps ensure efficiency and cost-effectiveness. If you would like an energy assessment for your facility, contact us today and we’ll provide expert advice and solutions.
How it all works
Call in the pros.
Give us a call, and we’ll come take a look around – no fees, no commitments. Within a week or so, we’ll give you a custom, detailed report of where you can decrease your energy costs and how much you can expect to save.
Let’s do this.
Our Energy Efficiency Professionals do the necessary swaps, tweaks, and in some cases, complete overhauls to bring your costs way down and your savings way up. We know how to save you money – and we know what it takes to make the most of all of those energy rebate programs. In fact, we guarantee that no one can find more rebates off your project than Verde.
We’ve got your back.
If a bulb burns out or an issue occurs, call us. We’ll make it right.
The bean counters on your team will be jumping for joy from the unexpected savings and your team’s Earth lovers will be singing your praises in no time. That’s because Verde’s solutions are just as good for your bottom line as they are for the Earth.
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1801 W Berteau Ave, Suite 202
Chicago, IL 60613
T (779) 333-0821