As we emerge from a scorching summer filled with record-breaking heat waves, the importance of managing energy consumption in commercial buildings is more evident than ever. Heat waves not only strain our power grids but also lead to soaring energy bills for many businesses. To regain control over energy usage and contribute to a sustainable future, it’s time to delve into the world of commercial building energy auditing. In this guide, we’ll explore the fundamentals of energy auditing for commercial buildings and how you can conduct one to assess and improve your energy efficiency.
Why Do You Need A Commercial Building Energy Audit?
The recent heat waves have left many businesses grappling with exorbitant energy bills, the discomfort of sweltering temperatures, and a stark reminder that extreme weather events are becoming more frequent. To prepare for and mitigate the impacts of these future weather challenges, it’s essential to conduct a commercial building energy audit.
Commercial building energy auditing is the systematic process of evaluating and analyzing energy consumption in commercial properties. The primary goal of a commercial building energy audit is to identify areas where energy efficiency can be improved, leading to reduced energy consumption, lower utility bills, and a smaller environmental footprint.
An audit will not only help you identify areas where your energy is being wasted but also provide valuable insights and opportunities for improvements that are critical in our changing climate landscape. It’s a crucial step towards making your commercial building more energy-efficient and resilient.
Performing a commercial building energy audit and making necessary improvements offers numerous benefits:
Lower Operational Costs: Improved energy efficiency leads to reduced operational costs and lower utility bills for businesses.
Create More Resilient Buildings: Resilient buildings not only protect profit but also protect business operations and can ensure operations continue even when other buildings may be without power, heating, or cooling.
Increased Customer and Employee Comfort: A more energy-efficient building can lead to increased customer and employee comfort.
Types Of Commercial Building Energy Audits
Commercial building energy audits can be classified into three main types:
Preliminary Energy Audit:
- Provides an initial assessment of energy consumption.
- Identifies low-cost or no-cost energy-saving opportunities.
- Offers a general overview of potential improvements.
Level I Energy Audit (Walk-Through Audit):
- More detailed than a preliminary audit.
- Involves a walk-through inspection of the building.
- Identifies energy-efficient opportunities for lighting, HVAC systems, and more.
Level II Energy Audit (Detailed Energy Analysis):
- Comprehensive evaluation of energy consumption and building systems.
- Involves data collection, analysis, and modeling.
- Provides detailed recommendations for energy-efficient upgrades and improvements.
Steps To Conducting A Commercial Building Energy Audit
Fundamental steps to perform a commercial building energy audit:
Gather Utility Bills: Start by collecting your commercial building’s utility bills for the past year. These bills will provide valuable insights into your energy consumption patterns and help establish a baseline for comparison.
Inspect Your Commercial Building: Conduct a thorough visual inspection of your commercial building, both inside and outside. Look for signs of energy inefficiency such as drafts, leaks, and inadequate insulation.
Identify Energy Sources: Make a list of all the energy sources and systems in your commercial building, including lighting, HVAC, appliances, and machinery. This will help you focus your audit efforts.
Assess Lighting and HVAC Systems: Evaluate the energy efficiency of your lighting and HVAC systems. Consider upgrading to energy-efficient solutions and optimizing HVAC controls.
Conduct an Energy Assessment: Use energy auditing tools or software to input your data and generate a comprehensive energy assessment report. This report will highlight areas for improvement and offer recommendations.
Once you’ve completed your commercial building energy audit and received the assessment report, it’s time to take action:
Prioritize Recommendations: Review the recommendations provided in your energy assessment report and prioritize them based on cost-effectiveness and potential energy savings.
Make Upgrades: Consider making energy-efficient upgrades such as installing an energy management system, upgrading HVAC systems, and installing smart hardware.
Monitor and Adjust: After implementing improvements, continue monitoring your commercial building’s energy consumption to see the impact of your efforts. Adjust your settings and practices as needed to maximize savings.
Get Started Today
In the wake of heat waves and escalating energy costs, commercial building energy auditing has become a critical tool for businesses seeking to reduce expenses, minimize their environmental impact, and provide better working environments for occupants. By understanding your commercial building’s energy consumption patterns and addressing inefficiencies, you can contribute to a more sustainable future and achieve long-term cost savings. Don’t wait until the next extreme weather event strikes – start your commercial building energy audit journey today and take control of your energy usage. It’s a step towards a more efficient and environmentally responsible future for your business.
Too Much To Take On? Let Us Help!
It may feel logical to have in-house staff complete your energy audit because they are familiar with the building. However, saving avenues and hidden problems can often be missed by untrained eyes. Energy audits should be performed by experts, like GridPoint. Our auditors know exactly what to look for to find easy cost-saving avenues.
GridPoint’s energy audit is cost free and will send energy experts to evaluate up to five facility locations. Our auditors identify ways to improve your HVAC and lighting systems and reduce your overall operating costs. GridPoint then leverages the data from the energy audit to provide easy, actionable items proven to save your company money and make budgeting a breeze.
To get a free energy audit from GridPoint’s team of experts sign up here.