Multifamily | Commercial | Institutional | Industrial | Government | Utility & ESCO
Many of the products being labeled as “energy audits” are nothing more than a generalized look at a facility or an investigation of a particular system (often for the purpose of selling a particular product or project). A truly effective energy audit needs to examine not only the major energy end use equipment, but the operations, maintenance and management processes of the facility as well. It is one of the first actions that must be taken to accomplish an effective energy cost optimization program. The audit is a detailed examination of how the facility uses energy, what it pays for that energy, and in conclusion a set of recommendations to reduce the energy costs by both equipment and operational changes.
Due to their continuously developing work with building systems, EMRA engineers are particularly adept at establishing good communications with site engineers or building maintenance personnel or with superintendents, eliciting much information about equipment conditions and operating patterns that might otherwise go unnoticed. Perhaps because of this level of communication, the building staffs respond positively to the survey visit and comments we receive back are in the vein of ”your engineers know what they are doing”.
We begin the process with pre-audit work that needs to be done to make best use of the auditor’s field time. The site visit involves data gathering and EMRA’s very well developed forensic detective techniques, which are supported by the use of a wide variety of survey/monitoring tools. From there, analysis of the subject facility’s data and potential savings opportunities are evaluated, covering both energy, economic and equipment life/maintenance considerations. At EMRA we pay special attention to the proper application of applicable energy rates so the savings projected accurately represents the way our clients are paying for their energy. Finally and importantly, the energy audit report is organized to most effectively communicate the recommendations and act as an action plan to assist our clients achieve their goal of lower annual energy expenditures.
The educational function is one of the most important, yet often overlooked, portion of an energy audit. It is in fact a fundamental key to a successful audit, in that for an energy audit to be effective recommended measures must be installed and/or maintained. As most facility managers and operators, (who are either the recipients of these reports or the persons ultimately responsible to carry at many of recommendations), are already overwhelmed with work, it is imperative that these individuals be involved and buy into the audit process. EMRA accomplishes this by including these facility personnel in the process during the site survey. During the walk through and data collection phase our auditors point out potential efficiency opportunities and explains through discussion and verbal images both the problems spotted as well as actions that will likely be detailed in the final audit report. We have found this greatly enhances the probability that the written report recommendations actually get implemented, and significant energy-savings are achieved.