10 October 2019
An energy audit can help those managing a site or building to make significant savings through better understanding of energy consumption, and identifying opportunities to improve efficiency. At a recent Fit for the Future event, auditors from within the network provided hands-on training for their peers. Practitioners from organisations including Historic Royal Palaces, Historic England, National Trust and Guide Dogs practiced the skills needed to carry out their own audits. A presentation given by Oliver Ingwall-King, Energy Advisor for West Suffolk Council at the event included the following key points on where to begin with energy auditing.
To identify the opportunities that could lead to savings, you first need to have a reasonable understanding of:
Energy data comes in many forms with varying accuracy as follows:
Many organisations have an Energy Bureau or portal where data can be downloaded. This can provide the top level periodic data that gives the accuracy needed to really understand energy use.
Now that you have the data, are there signs that the building is currently using too much energy? Ways to identify this are:
On average, a business can reduce its annual energy costs by 20% through improving energy efficiency and energy management.”
A Guide to Implementing Energy Savings Opportunities, DECC, 2015
Once you have reliable energy data, you can begin effective energy management. Energy management is the use of management and technology to improve an organisation or site’s energy performance. The key elements for successful resource management include:
Benchmarking is key to the energy management process, as it allows energy consumption to be compared and for any exceptions to be consequently identify. Benchmarking utilises a normalisation factor. You can use an industry defined measure of energy consumption which is typically kWh/m2/year.
The Chartered Institute of Building Service engineers offer good sources of benchmarking information under these headings:
Simple changes to behaviour could cut business energy costs by as much as 10% per year, and it makes sense to go for the simple stuff first! When tackling behaviour change, think about:
Members can access the full range of resources from this energy auditing event in our member’s area. If you are not a member but would like to find out more about the network and how to join, get in touch, or read more about what we do.