Energy Auditing Explained
Energy Auditing Explained
Last week our Senior Consultant, Alex Sejournee, presented to Curtin students on Energy Auditing and NABERS ratings.
Energy audits are an important component of an energy management program. They evaluate how efficiently energy is being used, highlight energy and cost saving opportunities, and can identify areas to improve building services operation and tenant comfort.
Energy audits can be used as the important first step in a newly started energy savings program or can be used to evaluate the performance of past programs, identify their shortcomings and successes and present areas for further improvement.
The current Australian Standard for Energy Audits for commercial buildings is AS/NZS 3598.12014 – Commercial Buildings. This prescriptive document is what HFM uses to guide the key processes and deliverables required. Under the standard there are three well-defined levels of audit:
Type 1 – Basic energy audit
Type 2 – Detailed energy audit
Type 3 – Precision subsystem audit
Differences between each type relate to focus and requirements around data collection, the level of analysis, opportunities identified, savings and payback calculations.
What Makes a Good Energy Audit?
As experienced providers, we have itemised some key aspects of what makes a good energy audit.
1. Understanding your client’s needs & drivers
• Why do they want an energy audit?
• Identify the key issues related to your client’s business
2. Organisation and Planning
• Prepare a timeline and project plan (refer AS/NZS 3598.1:2014)
• Manage your time so you don’t have to rush
• Think about when you should do your site visit
3. Collection of appropriate data
• Are you sure the data is accurate?
• Data to collect
• Energy consumption data (electricity, gas)
• Equipment schedules and nameplate data
• Drawings and registers
• Build a strong relationship with your client
• Talk to the staff
• Others (contractors, suppliers)
There are significant benefits which can flow from the completion of an energy audit. These can range from small to large and be in the form of both direct and indirect. These include:
✓ Engagement in the energy management process
✓ Reduction in electricity costs
✓ Reduction in maintenance costs and capital expenditures
✓ Improvement in NABERS Rating
✓ Reduction in other costs such as water
✓ Improved staff well-being and productivity
✓ Reduction in greenhouse gas emissions
✓ Improved corporate social responsibility
HFM is proud to be one of the largest providers of energy audits in Western Australia. To further understand how an energy audit may benefit your commercial building please get in touch with HFM.