Commercial energy audits – save on your business energy
What is an energy audit?
An energy audit by definition is an assessment of the energy needs and efficiency of a building or buildings. Carrying out an audit examines everything that affects energy use, from the building structure to the equipment used inside. This gives a detailed understanding of current usage which identifies areas where it can be reduced either by changes in habits or efficient solutions being put in place.
Why have an energy audit?
Large businesses are legally required to carry out energy audits but small businesses should also take the time to do one. In fact, small businesses are missing out on £7.7bn a year in the UK due to their lack of energy efficiency measures. Efficiencies are not always costly measures so don’t worry if your business is not prepared to spend thousands. Energy saving methods could be as simple as changing your lighting and will lead to a reduction in bills that can then be spent more effectively in other departments. As well as the savings aspect of carrying out an audit there are great environmental benefits which reflect positively on the business.
An audit can be easily broken down into three steps:
Assess your current usage
Reducing energy can seem like a huge task when you don’t know where, when and how it is being used. To effectively conduct an audit, you need to know about all current energy usage. This can easily be achieved by doing a walk around of your site and identifying everywhere that it is being used or lost. There will often be areas where energy can be reduced simply through changing habits, such as if staff have climate controls on whilst the windows are open. Read our article about general energy saving tips to start off with.
Quantify energy saving alternatives
Once you’ve conducted the audit you need to be able to work out the payback time of any energy saving methods put in place. To do this, compare potential savings and estimated costs. Carrying out this analysis for each area of the business allows you to prioritise projects that will give the most effective return. This information can then be passed to the decision makers and is more likely to be accepted with the potential savings research backing it.
Implement your findings
Once you have all the information you need from the energy audit, you’ll want to start implementing solutions. Large projects such as a new boiler or extra insulation may need further financing than small projects. Make sure to put together a business case about exactly what, why and how you want to put a solution in place. Going through step-by-step identifies the actual benefits, helping everyone to come to an agreement about the right fit for the business’ current needs.