Energy & Water Conservation

Identifying and implementing opportunities for reducing energy use in buildings can save money while demonstrating a commitment to environmental performance and meeting high performing building initiatives.

The preliminary audit is the simplest and fastest type of audit. It involve minimal interviews with site operating personnel, a brief review of facility utility bills and other operating data, and an inspection of the facility to identify areas of energy waste or inefficiency.

Typically, only major problem areas and simple “low hanging fruit” corrections will be uncovered during this type of audit. Corrective measures are briefly described, and quick estimates of implementation cost, potential operating cost savings, and simple payback periods are provided.

The complete site energy audit expands on the preliminary audit by collecting more detailed information relating to facility operation and performing a more detailed analysis of energy conservation measures identified. Utility bills are collected for a 12- to 36-month period to allow the auditor to evaluate the facility’s energy/demand rate structures, and energy usage profiles. Additional metering of specific energy-consuming systems is often performed to supplement utility data. In-depth interviews with facility operating personnel are conducted to provide a better understanding of major energy-consuming systems as well as insight into variations in daily and annual energy consumption and demand.

This type of audit will identify all energy conservation measures appropriate for the facility, given its current operating paraments. A detailed financial analysis is performed for each measure based on detailed implementation cost estimates, site-specific operating cost savings, and the customer’s investment criteria. Sufficient detail is provided to justify project implementation.

In most organizations, upgrades to a facility’s energy infrastructure must compete with non-energy related investments for capital funding. Both energy and non-energy investments are rated on a single set of financial criteria that generally stress ROI. Projected operating savings from energy projects must be provide alevel of confidence conducive to investment.

A Comprehensive audit provides a dynamic model of energy use characteristics of both the existing facility and all energy conservation measures identified. Building models are calibrated against actual utility data to provide a realistic baseline for calculating predicted savings. Extensive attention is given to understanding not only the operating characteristics of all energy-consuming systems, but also conditions under which load profile variations can occur on both an annual and daily basis. Existing utility data is typically supplemented with sub-metering of major energy-consuming systems and monitoring of system operating characteristics.

Energy Conservation Audits
Seven Federal Facilities
Bureau of Land Management; Roseburg District, Oregon

“Energy Conservation for Buildings”
Open Enrollment Course Presentations
Aarcher Institute of Environmental Training; Nationwide