Having an appreciation of how well assets and facilities might be performing is a critical stage of any energy management plan.
We recommend that if an organization has never before engaged in any methodical energy management program that a Level One Energy Audit (L1EA) or Scoping Study is the first type of audit. What this produces is a snap shot of how well assets and facilities are performing compared to average and best practice guidelines, with the potential savings in kWh and dollars listed in the ensuing report. It is the business case behind taking further action.
We have found that this stage to be critical in obtaining the buy-in of the various professionals within an organization that may have more a day to day or operational focus than a strategic one. For these individuals it is often the first time they have the opportunity to appreciate just how efficient or inefficient their portfolio of assets and facilities might be performing and how they might compare to those in other comparable organizations
The L1EA is almost certain to identify opportunities that will require additional research and exploration before the appropriate remedial action can be taken to deliver the envisaged savings.
The rationale behind initiating a sequenced approach to undertaking the audits, is so the more detailed Level Two Energy Audit (L2EA) is employed only when where the business case might justify it. As after all, there is no sense to undertaking a L2EA on an asset or facility that is already reasonably efficient.
Once an asset or facility has been identified as being inefficient, the next step is to undertake the more detailed L2EA. with our reports including comments and information on the following:
- Energy Tariffs. The report should include comments regarding how competitive the existing energy tariffs are and whether they might be able to be improved.
- Overall Energy Use Intensity (EUI). The report should comment on how the EUI of the asset or facility compares against other like assets or facilities.
- Energy Balance. The report should show a distribution of energy use, by end-use.
- No Cost Energy Savings Measures. The report should provide a list of no-cost energy savings measures with an estimate of the potential savings for each action.
- Low to Medium Cost Energy Savings Measures. The report should provide a list of low to medium cost measures with an estimate of the potential savings for each action and payback.
- Medium to High Cost Energy Savings Measures. The report should provide a list of medium to high cost measures with an estimate of the potential savings for each action and payback.
- Possible Areas for Investigation. The report should highlight areas that might offer energy savings opportunities, albeit entailing additional research or investigation.
Overall the audit report details how energy is consumed on a site and identifies potential savings through the implementation of the report recommendations. These recommendations are summarized in order of cost benefit, and details indicative costs to implement and projected annual savings. Recommendations in audits generally identify potential energy savings in the order of 10% - 30%. A high percentage of the savings can generally be achieved by implementing recommendations with a simple payback of 12 to 24 months. In other words a 100% to 50% return on capital.