Energy audits are important for all homeowners as well as business owners. Many people want to upgrade their workplaces and homes to make them more energy efficient. The importance of energy audit cannot be more emphasized – an energy audit gives you an idea of the total energy used which can suggest home and business owners like you, ideas on how to cut down consumption. Increased energy efficiency would lower energy prices as well as save valuable resources. By making small changes, you can reduce your carbon footprint. Read further to know about the need, objectives and types of energy audit, so that you can get an energy audit done too:
The importance of energy audit
The purpose of an energy audit is to analyze the flow of energy in a building. This helps the experts understand the dynamics of energy flow. The need of energy audit for business and homeowners is because; after the energy audit, they come to know how energy can be used in an optimum manner.
The energy audit expert advises them on the opportunities/ways in which the amount of energy used can be reduced, without negatively affecting the output. The importance of energy audit for everyone is because the energy use is prioritized, from the maximum to minimum cost effective uses.
How to get started
The energy audit process is very simple. Once you express the need of energy audit for your home and/or office, the energy auditor will go through the bills of your home/business for the past one year or more. Then the current energy information is used to generate a baseline as well as establish your current costs for energy.
The energy auditor then conducts energy inspection of every room. This allows the auditor to calculate the energy consumed by various items in the room, including making a note of the ones which waste energy. The importance of energy audit is thus, undeniable, as you receive a detailed report from the auditor regarding your current usage and the proposed ways for energy savings.
Home energy audit
Getting a home energy audit is a sensible idea, as it will help you to reduce energy consumption and lower your energy bills. It will also identify areas in your home, which waste energy. Air ducts, lighting, heating, cooling systems and so on will be thoroughly checked which will reveal any malfunctions or leakage leading to greater energy consumption.
Millions of older homes in the US do not match the energy efficiency standards of newer homes. Older homes waste tremendous amounts of energy, and add a lot of pollutants in the atmosphere, which contributes to climate change and global warming.
Energy audits helps homeowners save up to 30% annually or $600. It also helps to eliminate toxic pollutants from the atmosphere. The importance of energy audit for every home is because the residents get an insight into their daily energy use habits and about their energy installations. People can choose to have their entire home audited or just a few elements.
The different stages of energy auditing
Preparing for an audit
Before an energy auditor visits your home or business, you have to get some basic information ready. This includes
- Energy bills
- Documents that show the year in which the building was constructed
- The type of heating and cooling systems,
- Heating/cooling service certificate
- Building plans and so on.
The auditing process
The auditor will begin by analyzing the information about the building that you provide him/her. Then the auditor will check the quality of insulation, whether the HVAC and hot water system is functioning properly or not. The auditor will also check whether the equipment like thermostat, thermostatic valves and other important elements of the electrical system is functioning properly or not.
All the findings of the audit are enclosed in a special software program. The software is used to label the findings from A –E, based on which the auditor makes recommendations. He will also make projections of the energy savings if you follow the recommendations he makes. The report will also make any other observations he might have regarding the energy use of your home/business.
Energy audit objectives
The objectives of energy audit are to provide vital information for the overall energy conservation, covering essential analysis of energy utilization and energy conservation methods. It aims to
- Assess the current pattern of electricity consumption
- Relating energy input to production output
- Identifying the areas for electrical and thermal energy economy
- Pointing out wastage
- Fixing the potential areas in which energy can be saved
- Implementing energy conservation leading to financial savings
The objectives of energy audit are therefore, to understand how energy is being used in a building.
Energy audit types
Benchmarking is auditing the energy of the entire building based on previous use as well as cost and comparing this to the energy performance of similar buildings. In this method, the audit determines whether a building’s energy performance is good or bad and provides data for a more detailed energy audit.
This involves analyzing the utility billing data, operating data and building equipment data. This audit is conducted by a building visit.
One of the most effective types of energy audit is the detailed audit. In this, the auditor visits the building to conduct energy survey in detail, and provides comprehensive measures for energy savings.
In this type of energy audit, the auditor will outline intensive improvements which might require a thorough engineering analysis as well.
Advantages of energy audit
Learning to reduce utility costs
Energy audits are often conducted for free by government agencies or your energy provider. Getting an energy audit done will let you know how importance of energy audit in cutting down on utility costs. The auditor will give personalized plan to you, with recommendations and tips to improve energy use based on their analysis.
Get utility rebates
Your utility/energy provider can advise you on the rebates, incentives and other programs which would be beneficial for you. You can get good rebates which will save you money, especially if you’re considering replacing old equipment and appliances.
As a home or business owner, you cannot deny the use and importance of energy audit. It will help you improve the energy consumption of your home by suggesting the best and most effective improvements.
These improvements can be economical, suiting your budget or be intensive, depending on your choice. Energy audits will also help you and your family/co-workers know about your energy use habits, which you can improve to increase savings.