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Last edited 25 Jan 2023
The Carbon Trust suggest that 20% of business' annual energy costs are wasted by energy inefficient equipment, however, businesses often focus on revenue rather than costs and so 60% of cost-effective, viable, energy efficiency recommendations are not implemented. (Ref Carbon Trust, Mandatory energy efficiency audits for business. December 2013.)
An energy audit might provide:
- An assessment of energy consumption and carbon emissions.
- A comparison with previous audits.
- Benchmarking against similar buildings.
- Assessment in relation to corporate energy targets or policies.
- A schedule of energy savings that could be made.
- An Investment appraisal of proposed measures including pay-back periods.
- An assessment of the difficulty of implementation.
- Prioritisation of measures.
- Proposed changes to operations, staff behaviour, communications, training and so on.
- Potential suppliers.
- Financing options.
Typically, savings might be identified through assessment of:
- Whether buildings are being operated properly (in accordance with the intention of the original design). For example, occupants opening windows in air-conditioned buildings.
- Whether changes been made since buildings were completed prevent them from operating properly (such as changes to plant during repairs or servicing).
- The type of lighting.
- Type and management of heating and cooling.
- Thermal comfort.
- Monitoring systems, timers, controls, sensors and other devices.
- Industrial processes, plant, equipment and machinery.
- Building fabric, heat loss, air-tightness and insulation.
- Type of energy used and tariff.
- Potential to use low-carbon or renewable energy.
- Potential for on-site energy generation.
- Possible behavioral changes.
- Assessment of other issues such as; water consumption, waste streams and transport.
Energy audits can be carried out in-house if there is sufficient expertise, or external advisers (such as energy surveyors) may be appointed. Organisations such as the Carbon Trust provide accreditation for energy surveyors.
Article 8 of the European Union (EU) Energy Efficiency Directive (2012/27/EU), requires that member states introduce regular energy audits for large enterprises with more than 250 employees or a turnover exceeding €50m (ie enterprises other than small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)). This is intended to encourage the uptake of cost-effective energy efficiency measures. These audits must be undertaken by 5 December 2015, and then every four years after that. The scheme does not extend to public bodies and does not require businesses implement the energy saving recommendations.
See also: Energy-use audits of buildings.
- Air permeability testing.
- Air tightness in buildings
- BREEAM Testing and inspecting building fabric.
- Building use studies (BUS).
- Climate Change Act.
- Code for sustainable homes.
- Draughts in buildings.
- Emission rates.
- Energy management in the built environment: A review of best practice.
- Energy performance certificates.
- Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme.
- Energy targets.
- Energy-use audits of buildings.
- Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.
- Thermographic survey.
 External references
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