Choosing an energy efficient consultant
As a minimum, energy consultants should have relevant electrical/engineering and/or trade qualifications as well as relevant experience in energy auditing and energy management. The key industry qualification, known as the Certified Energy Manager, is also desirable especially for larger, complex operations.
- turning off certain appliances
- low cost initiatives like switching out light bulbs and installing sensors
- installing new technologies such as central chiller air-conditioning units and solar photovoltaic which require substantial capital investment with a pay-back period of several years.
ecoBiz program for business
When should an energy audit be conducted?
An energy audit will achieve the best results when your business is committed to making changes and financially able to act on the recommendations.
Who should carry out an energy audit?
The energy auditor should be independent and not have a vested interest in the outcomes of the energy audit, for example through selling of equipment or services that are recommended.
Australian/New Zealand Standard Energy Audits: 3598:2014
The Australian Standard for energy audits is a series of standards focused on particular industry sectors:
- 3598.1 Energy audits – Commercial buildings
- 3598.2 Energy audits – Industrial and related activities
- 3598.3 Energy audits – Transport related activities
For commercial building and industrial and related activities, the Standard describes 3 types of energy audits.
A Type 1 audit is a basic energy audit which is typically suited for smaller sites with lower energy expenditures.
A Type 2 audit is a detailed energy audit that provides detailed analysis of energy performance to quantify the full range of opportunities for a site.
A Type 3 audit is a detailed audit of specific subsystems, with additional data gathering and measurement to provide a high level of accuracy.
It's not essential to have an audit that strictly adheres to the Australian Standard. It's just as important to ensure that the scope of the energy audit is agreed up front and you chose an energy auditor who has the skills and experience to properly assess your site and come up with suitable recommendations.
Energy audit process
- Collection of energy related data
- End-use energy apportioning
- Identifying energy saving measures
- Estimating implementation costs and energy savings of energy saving measures
- Writing an energy audit report.
Audit levels tasks
Level 1 Audit
Accuracy of figures would generally be within ±40%.
- Gather data
- Site wide energy use on an annual basis
- Derive a performance indicator
- Broad conclusions and recommendations
- Written report.
Level 2 Audit
Accuracy of figures would generally be within ±20%.
- Gather data
- Site investigation
- Detailed site energy input and energy use
- Reconciliation of energy accounts with loads
- Variation on a month-by-month basis
- Energy performance indicators
- Detailed recommendations including costs and savings
- Implementation priorities and plan
- Align recommendations and client’s energy program
- Full written report.
Level 3 Audit
Accuracy of figures would be within +10% for costs and -10% for benefits.
- Gather data
- Define site/process being audited
- Site/process investigation
- Detailed metering down to half-hourly time interval
- Derive target energy use
- Detailed recommendations including cost, saving and accuracy of estimates
- Detailed investment analysis
- Detailed implementation plan
- Suggest refinements to energy policy and energy program
- Written report plus presentation.