Conducting an Energy Audit will allow your organisation to benchmark its energy usage and identify potential energy savings. This is helpful for mapping future energy growth and costs as well as developing a site energy plan. Audits generally cover the following areas:
- Energy usage history via billing
- Site usage patterns i.e. Hours of operation, numbers of staff, school holidays etc.
- Measuring and logging current operations
- Planning and mapping future energy usage
Full professional energy audits are carried out in accordance to AS3598:2000.
This Australian Standard sets out three levels of auditing:
Level 1 –
A Level 1 audit, sometimes called an energy overview, allows the overall energy consumption of the site to be evaluated, so as to determine whether energy use is reasonable or excessive. This audit provides initial benchmarks of the site so that the effect of energy measures can be tracked and evaluated. It may be in the form of a desktop study; however the information given to, or gathered by, the auditor needs to be sufficient enough to enable the overall level of efficiency of the site to be determined.
NOTE: A Level 1 audit is expected to give a general overview, which provides rough orders of savings and costs. Accuracy of figures would generally be within ±40%.
Level 2 –
A Level 2 audit identifies the sources of energy to a site, the amount of energy supplied, and how this energy is consumed. It also identifies areas where savings may be made, recommends measures to be taken, and provides a statement of costs and potential savings.
NOTE: A Level 2 audit is an energy use survey, which is expected to provide a preliminary assessment of costs and savings. Accuracy of figures would generally be within ±20%.
Level 3 –
A Level 3 audit provides a detailed analysis of energy usage, the savings that can be made, and the cost of achieving those savings. It may cover the whole site or may concentrate on an individual item, such as a single industrial process or one of the services. The auditor may often employ a specialist to carry out specific parts of an audit or may need to install local metering and logging.
The report from a Level 3 audit often forms the justification for substantial investment by the owner or an energy performance contractor. Detailed economic analysis with an appropriate level of accuracy is required.
NOTE: A Level 3 audit is expected to provide a firm estimate of savings and costs. Accuracy of figures would be within +10% for costs and -10% for benefits.
If you are an organisational or site energy manager, or you simply require advice in guiding your organisation’s future energy use, then talk to us at Sun State Solar.