A rise in eco-consumerism presents challenges to current business owners. Sustainable goods and services are in high demand, and environmentally degrading companies are closing. Businesses may remain competitive in the industry by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and increasing energy efficiency.
President Biden spent his first day in office signing the U.S. onto the Paris Agreement. The document projects our residential and commercial efforts to reduce climate change. Businesses can utilize energy audits to evaluate their sustainability shortcomings and adopt eco-friendly practices.
What Are Energy Audits?
Commercial energy audits assess a company’s holistic use of power. It determines how much electricity a building uses, flaws in energy sourcing, power loss regions and offer issues that interfere with efficiency. A professional conducts the assessments and relays their findings back to the business owner.
The energy specialist evaluates the building’s heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system, lighting structure, operation hours and times, environmental interference, exhaust devices and more. They then take their findings and convert them into graphs and charts. The company owners can easily digest the formatted information to examine potential efficiency issues.
Businesses can use an audit to alter energy consumption patterns, repair broken systems, install power-efficient devices and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Increasing the sustainability of a building offers various company benefits. Energy-efficient companies experience increased profits because the most extensive customer base invests in sustainable products. Eco-conscious alterations also reduce utility costs, helping businesses save money.
Different Audit Methods
There are two common types of commercial audits – preliminary and detailed audits. The assessment depends on the company building’s size, function and industry. Professionals may also alter their examination method depending on the magnitude and potential of electricity savings and utility cost deductions desired.
A preliminary audit, also known as a walk-through, occurs when professionals collect general energy data. It provides a simple power analysis and performance report for business owners. The workers take a minimal amount of measurements and provide common results.
Many smaller companies prefer this energy audit method because it is cost effective and time-efficient. The findings provide enough information to make power efficiency alterations and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
A detailed, or diagnostic, audit extracts more specific data. Therefore, certified workers conduct data inventory and measurements, assessing heat processing, pumps, fans and more. It takes a longer amount of time to perform a detailed audit, and the results are more comprehensive.
Larger companies typically receive this audit, gaining more insight into their energy efficiency. The results determine issues within each system and offer solutions. Neither method is better than the other, and they effectively help different businesses save money and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
How to Prepare
Energy audits can help your company when conducted correctly. It is helpful to prepare yourself for an assessment, making the most of your investment. You may start by evaluating environmental safety hazards in the building.
Informing the professional of environmental hazards can ensure their safety and the quality of work they perform on the job. Ensure the worker’s preparedness before entering the site, conducting required safety training before the assessment day. Also, have necessary personal protective equipment ready for the consultant when they arrive.
Having a technical awareness of the audit can increase your preparedness. If you need a detailed audit and the consultant performs the preliminary method, you could be in trouble. You can also request the professional’s certifications before they complete the job.
You hired a qualified consultant if they have an engineering license or Ph.D. in mechanical engineering. Association of Energy Engineers Certified Energy Managers and Energy Management Professionals also qualify for the job. Ensure the worker has at least two years of experience performing energy audits before hiring them.
Good For Business
Energy audits are good for businesses struggling with high utility bills and large carbon footprints. Furthermore, the assessments can unveil efficiency issues within a building and help company owners adopt sustainable measures. Once they access their audit results, they can install smart power strips, renewable energy systems and other green appliances to shrink their carbon footprint and increase customer appeal.
Jane is the Editor-in-Chief of Environment.co and an environmental writer covering green technology, sustainability and environmental news.