Energy audits, or energy assessments, are the first step to understanding energy usage. It consists of an ASHRAE standard walk-through that identifies energy savings that can be found with everyday operating costs. The energy audit helps to analyze where problem areas exist and where improvements can be implemented. Through building survey and a review of past utility bills, the audit assesses the current situation of the building and makes best practice recommendations to improve its performance. It may not be as visually appealing as a wind turbine or a green roof, assessments are a smart way to understand the condition of the building and can tell you what options offer the best return on investment. The energy audit addresses the property as a whole system, instead of individual HVAC, lighting, or water systems.
An energy audit is an in-depth, unobtrusive (no holes in drywall), survey of your building. The audit is not intended to uncover mistakes or assess a penalty, it is simply to showcase no-cost or low-cost energy reduction measures and later capital improvements if necessary. The information later acts as spot checks to see how the building performs in comparison to similar buildings on the market.
Candid Sustainability will visit a facility to obtain equipment data, utility bills, and general building usage information. We will walk through the building to view if any issues may exist. All of the data from the visit will then be processed and analyzed off-site to find areas of improvement and energy conservation measures. The audit will ultimately produce and energy audit report will entail a list of recommendations based on return on investments (ROI). It will outline and detail plans that can be used to perform the solutions in house or as a knowledge base for Requests for Proposals. The report will also detail a list of private, municipal, and utility incentives to bring down first costs for the installation of new equipment and system components.
ASHRAE LEVEL 1 – WALK-THOUGH ANALYSIS
A level 1 energy audit identifies low-cost/no-cost measures for improving energy efficiency and provides a list of potential capital improvements for further consideration. Calculations are minimum and the cost savings are approximated. Analysis is taken of the historic utility use, peak demand, and cost to develop an Energy Cost Index (ECI) of the facility.
ASHRAE LEVEL 2 – ENERGY SURVEY ANALYSIS
Similar to a Level I inspection but involves a more detailed review of the energy consumption and a more thorough walk-through and assessment of current equipment. The survey will break down energy usage and peak demand. The analysis will identify savings and cost analysis of all practical energy efficiency measures (EEMs) within the owner’s or operator’s constraints. The analysis will also provide adequate information to act upon recommendations
ASHRAE LEVEL 3 – DETAILED ANALYSIS
This is the most detailed of inspections but allows for the largest possibility of savings. The walk-through involves not only an inspection of all building systems but also the building shell. ASHRAE Level III will look at renewable energy feasibility and cost projections and replacement costs and paybacks for current systems.