Whether you own a small business, a large commercial building, a cold storage facility, or a manufacturing operation, it’s important to take advantage of any programs, rebate incentives, and strategies that may help you save money on energy bills. There are short-term strategies that can positively impact your bottom line immediately, as well as long term strategies that can reduce your energy consumption and stabilize your energy consumption in the future.
A good place to start when employing either strategy, is with an energy audit. Energy audits track your energy usage and efficiency to identify key areas for improvement. The information revealed through the energy audit can provide insights that will help you accelerate savings. The power of an energy audits is severely undervalued. While they may sound expensive, complicated, or even unnecessary, they are one of the best ways to understand your unique energy situation, while addressing areas for improvement.
The average commercial building wastes 30 percent of the energy it consumes. If you haven’t done anything to save energy, then chances are, you’ll find many opportunities to improve.
What is an Energy Audit?
An energy audit is an assessment of the energy consumed in a given location which is used to find the inefficiencies. The first step to an energy audit is evaluating how much energy is being used so homeowners can identify the improvements that need to be made in order to increase energy efficiency. Only once the faults in the energy system are recognized, can they be corrected. This leads to saving energy which ends up a decreased energy bill and improved efficiency.
What is Energy Management?
Energy management is the process of monitoring, controlling, and conserving energy in a building or organization. The energy management process starts with an energy audit of a given location. Just as stated above, the goal is to find opportunities to improve efficiency. Essentially, energy management involves taking the energy audit and putting it into action with a number of strategies. For example, installing lights on a timer to turn off automatically at night. After action is taken, tracking the progress of the changes made is the most important part. Eventually this cycle starts over, resulting in another energy audit.
The Difference Between an Energy Audit and Energy Management
The real difference between the two lies in the difference between a systematic, one-time procedure and a long-term strategy dedicated to continuous improvement and energy efficiency.
An energy audit is a timely study. The reason being, that it critically examines the energy bill of the consumer and any improvements that can be immediately done in order for energy consumption reduction. These savings can be as minor as zero investment savings as simple as a change in operation in order to find a more efficient route or as large as capital investments such as purchasing all new equipment.
Energy management is about continuous improvement by monitoring energy over time. It is the long term and committed version of energy audits. Energy management follows the system of “plan-do-act-check”. This system was implemented by the International Standards for Energy Management.
A commercial building energy audit process is an overall analysis of the ways that a company consumes energy. Once the energy audit is conducted on the main energy consumptions, an analysis focuses on identifying ways to decrease energy usage and save money.
Electricity Bill Analysis
What is an energy bill audit? Here’s a brief breakdown:
- Review utility bills by month and charge type
- Analyze and compare consumptions
- Determine standard factors (we use something called a Naya Energy Demand Index (NEDI score), which is a measure of how peaky a site’s consumption of electricity is)
- Conclusion of billing rate agenda
On-site audits provide a more comprehensive and detailed audit. An on-site survey may include the following:
- Rate plan analysis and summary
- Perform on site survey
- Understand usage by device
- Observed anomalies
- Supply health data
- Efficiency testing
- Detailed charts
- Report on insights and recommendations
How Much Does A Commercial Energy Audit Cost?
The cost of a commercial energy audit is dependent on a number of factors, including the size of the building, the efficiency of the facility, and the level of depth and attention to detail that the audit goes into. Other variables that the cost is dependent on can include the type of business, review of assessment, amount of available information. The cost of commercial energy audit typically ranges from $1000-$15000 dollars depending on the previously listed factors.
Small and large businesses alike should take advantage of the opportunities that an energy audit offers them. There are many tips, rebate incentives, and strategies that can help you improve your bottom line, while reducing your energy consumption.
Naya Energy provides energy management and energy audit expertise. Naya does this by performing comprehensive energy audits and bill analysis for each customer as a basis of their energy management process. Once this process is done you can find out how to save more money and have a more efficiently running company.
Naya Energy is on a mission to protect the purchasers of power (commercial energy consumers) from the unwanted impact of demand charges, the unintended consequences of equipment going bad, and the misalignment of vendors’ solutions to your specific needs.
Article written by Naya Energy contributor, Katie Devlin