From Assessment to Action: How Choosing the Right Energy Audit Company Can Drive Change and Sustainability for Your Organisation

Energy Audit Companies Can Drive Change and Sustainability for an Organisation

How Choosing the Right Energy Audit Company Can Drive Change and Sustainability for Your Organisation

As organisations in Australia become increasingly aware of their environmental impact, many are seeking ways to reduce their energy consumption and adopt sustainable practices. One of the most effective ways to achieve this is by partnering with an energy audit company that not only specialises in identifying  energy reduction measures, but also has the capability and experience to fund and implement emission reduction solutions on your behalf. 

Unlocking the Power of Energy Audits

Energy audits are essential for companies and organisations striving towards achieving Net Zero emissions, as they help identify areas of energy waste and inefficiency. By reviewing energy bills and usage data, examining the building’s physical structure and systems, and reviewing operational practices, auditors can provide recommendations to reduce energy consumption and costs while also decreasing carbon emissions. This is critical as commercial and industrial buildings are responsible for about 10% of Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions.

Among the many benefits of energy audits include specific recommendations that can help businesses prioritise opportunities for energy savings and emissions reductions in their Net Zero Roadmap journey. In most cases, implementing energy audit recommendations will achieve notable cost savings.

This article will provide an overview of energy audits, including the different Levels of energy audits available, the benefits of conducting an energy audit, and how to choose the right energy audit company for your needs.

What is an Energy Audit?

Energy audits are an integral part of the energy management process. They provide essential information to determine how efficiently energy is being consumed, identify energy and cost saving opportunities and highlight potential process and productivity improvements.

An energy audit is a comprehensive assessment of a building or facility’s energy usage. It involves a detailed examination of all aspects of energy consumption, including lighting, heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and equipment usage. The primary goal of an energy audit is to identify areas where energy is being wasted and provide recommendations on how to improve efficiency.

The Fundamentals of Energy Audits

Energy audits typically involve a three-step process:

  1. Data collection and analysis
  2. On-site inspection, and
  3. Report generation.

During the data collection and analysis phase, the energy auditor will review energy bills and usage data to gain an understanding of how much energy is being used and where it is being used.

The on-site inspection involves a detailed examination of the building’s physical structure and systems, including the HVAC system, lighting, and appliances. The energy auditor will also review operational practices and procedures to identify any areas where energy is being wasted.

After completing the on-site inspection, the energy auditor will generate a report that outlines their findings and provides recommendations for improving energy efficiency. The report typically includes a breakdown of energy usage, an analysis of potential savings opportunities, and a prioritised list of recommended energy-saving measures.

Key Components of an Energy Audit: What to Expect

A Standard compliant audit will set you on the path to reducing your energy consumption by identifying opportunities for impreovement that fit within your budget, timelines and business objectives.

When choosing an energy audit company, it’s important to understand what to expect from the process. Here are some of the key components of an energy audit:

  • Energy bill and usage analysis: This involves reviewing historical energy bills and usage data to gain an understanding of how much energy is being used and where it is being used.
  • On-site inspection: This involves a detailed examination of the building’s physical structure and systems, including the HVAC system, lighting, and appliances.
  • Operational review: This involves reviewing operational practices and procedures to identify any areas where energy is being wasted.
  • Savings analysis: This involves analysing potential savings opportunities and estimating the costs and benefits of implementing energy-saving measures.
  • Report generation: This involves generating a comprehensive report that outlines the findings of the energy audit and provides recommendations for improving energy efficiency.

 

In the next section, we’ll explore the different types of energy audits and how to choose the right energy audit for your business.

Recommended Read: 3E Group Undertakes Energy Audits for St John of God Hospitals

Levels of Energy Audits Offered by Energy Audit Companies: Choosing the Right One for Your Organisation

Good energy audit companies will offer all three levels of energy audits that vary in detail and level of accuracy. These are:

A level 1 audit is a simple, cost effective, high level audit, best utilised for small sites or when budgets are tight. It will provide you with broad estimates of energy savings opportunities so you can begin improving your energy efficiency. Some organisations comission a basic energy audit as a first step before committing to a detailed energy audit.

  • Basic Energy Audit: Level 1 energy audits provide a basic assessment of energy use and energy-saving opportunities at a facility. This level of audit is useful as a first step investigation into cost-effective energy-saving opportunities.
  • Lower Level Assessment: Level 1 energy audits provide a lower level assessment of energy use and energy-saving opportunities compared toLevel 2 and Level 3 audits. This level of detail allows for a preliminary analysis of energy usage and the identification of potential areas for improvement.
  • Limited Scope: Levl 1 energy audits have a limited scope of assessment, and typically involve a review of utility bills and a site walk-through to identify obvious energy-saving opportunities.
  • Level of Accuracy: Level 1 energy audits typically have a level of accuracy of ±40%
  • Cost-Effective: Level 1 energy audits are a cost-effective option for organisations looking to assess their energy use and identify potential areas for improvement. They can serve as a preliminary step in a larger energy management program, providing a foundation for future energy-saving initiatives.

 

A Level 2 or detailed energy audit is the standard ‘go to’ for a site-wide energy audit. It will provide you with specific recommendations with a medium level of accuracy – enough to underpin informed investment decisions on a range of available energy conservation measures.

  • Detailed Assessment of Energy Usage: Level 2 energy audits provide a more detailed assessment of energy usage patterns, allowing for a comprehensive analysis of energy-saving opportunities. This assessment typically includes a review of utility bills, site surveys, and interviews with key personnel.
  • Comprehensive Analysis: Level 2 energy audits include a comprehensive analysis of energy-saving measures, including detailed descriptions of relevant energy-efficient technology. The audit report may also include a breakdown of costs, energy savings, and payback periods to help organisations make informed decisions.
  • Intended for Sites with Some Knowledge of Energy Efficiency: Level 2 energy audits are intended for sites that have some knowledge of energy efficiency and energy management, and are looking for a detailed assessment of opportunities to reduce their energy consumption.
  • Increased Scope of Assessment: Level 2 energy audits have an increased scope of assessment compared to Level 1 audits, allowing for a more detailed analysis of energy usage and the identification of additional energy-saving opportunities.
  • Degree of Accuracy: Level 2 energy audits typically have a degree of accuracy of ±20%, which provides organisations with reliable energy-saving recommendations that can be implemented with confidence.

This is a specialised audit you can commission if you need a deep dive on a particular sub-system that uses a lot of energy on your site. It will provide you with precise information on specific energy saving measures related to that sub-system.

  • Precision Subsystem Audit: Level 3 energy audits involve a detailed and precise measurement of energy usage and costs, including sub-metering of plant and equipment over a certain period of time (usually 12 months). This level of detail allows for a comprehensive analysis of energy usage and the identification of energy-saving opportunities.
  • Stricter Data Accuracy Requirements: Level 3 energy audits have a stricter requirement for data accuracy compared to Level 1 and Level 2 audits. This ensures that the energy-saving recommendations are reliable and can be implemented with confidence.
  • Lengthy Process: Level 3 energy audits are a more time-consuming process and may take up to 18 months to finalize the report. This extended time frame allows for a more comprehensive analysis of energy usage and the identification of more opportunities for energy savings.
  • Cost-Intensive: Level 3 energy audits are more cost-intensive than Level 1 and Level 2 audits due to the level of detail involved and the length of the process. However, the investment in a Level 3 energy audit can result in significant cost savings in the long run
  • Investment-Grade Recommendations: The Level 3 energy audit report includes investment-grade recommendations for energy-saving measures, providing organisations with a detailed breakdown of costs, energy savings, and payback periods to make informed decisions about energy efficiency improvements.

Choosing the right level of energy audit for an organisation depends on its requirements in terms of detail, accuracy, timeframe, and budgetary restraints. Generally, organisations prefer Level 2 Energy Audits as they provide sufficient detail in a relatively short period of time for executive management to formulate a business case and consider funding an energy efficiency retrofit project.

The Importance of Complying with AS/NZS 3598:2014 for Energy Audits

Besides choosing one of the three (3) Levels of energy audits, it is important for organisations to ensure that the audit complies with AS/NZS 3598:2014. AS/NZS 3598.1:2014, AS/NZS 3598.2:2014, and AS/NZS 3598.3:2014 are energy audit standards for commercial buildings, industrial activities, and transport-related activities, respectively. Complying with these standards can help organisations identify ways to improve energy efficiency, reduce costs, and minimise environmental impact while contributing to a sustainable future.

Recommended Read: Reference Guide for Energy Auditing developed by Energy Efficiency Council and tailored to the Australian/New Zealand Standard 3598:2014.

Benefits of Energy Audits

Why undertake an energy audit?

Energy audits provide a clear overview of all savings opportunities on your site, helping you make informed investment decisions that best suit your budget. Here are some of the benefits of energy audits:

Make Informed Investment Decisions

An energy audit will provide you with a clear overview of all savings opportunities on your site. That way, you can select the investments that best suit your site and your budget.

Capture Financial Returns from Energy Savings

Energy efficiency is an investment that can deliver an excellent financial outcome, but investments need to be properly targeted. If you are considering investing in energy efficiency, an energy audit is your first step.

Improve your productivity

Energy efficiency is the ratio of useful service delivered to energy used. This means that as part of an energy audit, you will be assessed on how productively your business uses energy. In some cases, audits will identify changes that improve overall productivity as well as making direct energy savings.

Reduce Your Environmental Impact

Financially prudent energy efficiency projects often deliver big environmental benefits. Few investments compare to energy efficiency in terms of delivering an environmental outcome and meeting the expectations of tenants, investors, customers, and employees. 

Investing in energy efficiency through energy audits can deliver excellent financial outcomes, improved productivity, and reduced environmental impact. Energy audits are the first step towards identifying potential savings and making a positive impact on your bottom line and the environment.

Best Practices for Choosing the Right Energy Audit Company

Choosing the right energy audit company is crucial to ensure the success of your energy-saving project.  Here are some best practices to consider when selecting an energy audit company.

A. Check Their Familiarity with AS/NZS 3598:2014
B. Assess Their Understanding of Your Site's Major Energy Uses
C. Look for a diverse range of technical and general skills
D. Evaluate their experience and references
E. Ensure their recommendations align with your goals

There are many energy audit companies or sustainability consultants that can provide you with a Standard compliant energy audit. However, not all energy audit companies can implement the recommendations they provide in their reports. A major deciding factor on which energy audit company you choose would be your intention or utlimate objective behind commissioning the audit. If the intention is to implement recommendations from the energy audit then partnering with a turn-key solutions provider can prove highly beneficial – especially if said provider has substantial experience in implementing energy efficiency projects in your sector/industry.

Benefit from 3E Group’s expertise

Based on over 500 energy audits – including aquatic centres, hotels, resorts, commercial buildings and retail – 3E Group typically recommend tangible savings of between 30%-50% compared to baseload consumption.

Our energy auditors have over 70 potential emission reduction / energy efficiency solutions at their disposal maximising the number of meaningful solutions recommended.

3E Group offers a comprehensive range of energy advisory services (including Energy Audits, NABERS Ratings, Carbon Reporting/Accounting, Portfolio Benchmarking and Net Zero Roadmaps), engineering design and implementation of guaranteed energy savings projects, power quality solutions, smart building controls and automation, energy monitoring and analytics and ongoing maintenance of energy consuming assets. 

3E Group, which has over 20 years of experience helping organisations reduce emissions, is committed to helping you achieve your sustainability goals and reach Net Zero. Whether you’re just beginning your sustainability journey or looking to take your existing initiatives to the next level, our team of sustainability and Net Zero specialists can work with you to develop customised solutions that align with your strategic objectives.

With our expertise and insights, we can help you understand your current sustainability performance, reduce emissions, operating costs, and work towards establishing or recalibrating your sustainability targets.

In conclusion, energy audits are an essential step in identifying opportunities for reducing energy consumption, saving costs, and improving sustainability. By following best practices for choosing an energy audit company and working with experienced professionals like those at 3E Group, businesses can effectively identify and implement energy-saving measures that align with their goals and values. Ultimately, investing in energy audits and implementing energy-saving measures can not only benefit the environment but also improve a business’s bottom line.

Unlock Potential Savings: Schedule an Energy Audit for Your Organisation

Connect with 3E Group by visiting the website or calling us at 1300 55 77 64 today!

Recommended:

Filters
Reset

Share This

Related Posts