A commercial energy audit can be the key to increasing the energy efficiency of a business. Some firms may be prompted to engage an energy solutions professional to evaluate their premises due to increased environmental awareness and a push to conserve resources. Others undertake the inspection with the knowledge that improved efficiency translates into utility cost savings. In some cases, a commercial energy audit is needed to help obtain building certifications.
Examiners possess specialized knowledge of mechanical systems, building sciences, construction practices, greenhouse gas calculations, engineering principles, optimization techniques and more. By hiring a professional, clients can take the guesswork and time-consuming assessments out of the process and focus on what’s most important: their business.
The process of a commercial energy audit usually starts with the examiner determining the scope of the project. This step includes establishing a timeline for the project, educating the client about available options and estimating fees.
Second, the examiner begins compiling preliminary data by conducting interviews, requesting maintenance records and utility data, and evaluating utility usage. During this stage, the examiner may compare the building in question to similar type buildings to establish benchmarks. The examiner will also initiate research of state and federal incentives and rebates that may be available to the client.
Next, the examiner performs an onsite inspection of building conditions and operations. This part of the commercial energy audit includes noting safety and health hazards, evaluating the roof, windows and insulation, along with shading and mechanical penetrations. The examiner’s careful top-to-bottom review often includes taking photographs and measurements, interviewing vendors and facility staff, identifying problems with mechanical systems, conducting a water system audit, evaluating lighting controls, and more.
Once the examiner has a thorough understanding of the building and all its components, he begins the analytical process of developing conceptual solutions. At this stage, the examiner lists and describes the identified measures, as well as their cost category, in writing. Based on the discussion of possible solutions with the client, the examiner selects certain measures for in-depth analysis. Computer simulations may be implemented, evaluations of the proposed solutions on business operations and maintenance are conducted, and long-term financial benefits for the client are calculated.
Finally, the examiner’s findings are furnished to interested parties in a comprehensive report and formal presentation. Based on the report, the client chooses which of the suggested measures are to be implemented.
In many cases, experts from several trades are necessary to complete the desired overhaul. Electricians, plumbers and roofers must be coordinated properly to avoid a disruption in business. An efficient way to ensure business can be conducted as usual is to hire a company like Soluxe Energy Solutions, a company with the capacity to competently handle all aspects of the project from start to finish. Soluxe partners with top-of-the line professionals and offers its clients a full range of services, starting with the commercial energy audit, delivering project management and financing strategies, acquiring state and local incentives, and completing the job by coordinating the contractors implementing proposed and client-approved solutions.
Companies like Soluxe have the partnerships and know-how in place to pave the way to environmentally and financially friendly solutions.