It’s true in most areas of life, including optimizing the energy usage of your commercial building: “You can’t decide where you’re going until you figure out where you’ve been.”
That’s the concept behind the energy audit performed on commercial facilities: to determine where the facility has been (in terms of energy usage and efficiency) so you can figure out where it’s going (and how to improve that course).
In the simplest terms, when energy engineers perform an energy audit, they’re reviewing the facility’s past energy usage and comparing it to expected energy usage if the building were fully optimized. The difference between the two becomes a list of actions the building owners can take to improve efficiency, lower energy usage, and control costs.
There are at least four excellent reasons to have your local commercial HVAC company perform an energy audit, and plenty more reasons not to wait on taking action. We’ll start with why your commercial facility needs an energy audit:
1. Helps identify maintenance needs
In some commercial buildings, routine maintenance schedules for key systems (like the HVAC) can be ignored or sorely neglected to the point that no one can say for sure how well a piece of equipment should be able to perform, or how long it should last.
While an energy audit isn’t designed to thoroughly test individual components (something that should be included in a routine planned maintenance schedule), it will definitely raise red flags over any component showing abnormally high or inefficient energy usage, which is a good indicator that maintenance is needed.
2. Helps identify cost cutting opportunities
Cutting operational costs is a constant goal for commercial building owners and facility managers tasked with maintaining or boosting profitability. Without a specific list of action items, though, it can be difficult to accomplish.
The most valuable result of an energy audit is a list of specific recommendations for improving your facility’s energy efficiency and lowering operational costs. Additionally, the audit report will break down the approximate cost and savings associated with each item, yielding projected ROI that can be valuable as a prioritizing and budgeting tool that allows building owners to begin on the highest-yield improvements first and continue through the list strategically.
3. Supports ecological efforts
Many companies make a point of promoting their responsibility to the environment and their efforts can be powerful tools for marketing, recruiting, and public relations.
By having an energy audit performed and following through on the recommendations made by the engineers, the company can prove their ecological commitment in a practical way.
4. Promotes employee productivity and safety
While the energy audit isn’t going to thoroughly test every system component, the resulting data can help identify areas where a system’s maintenance, repair, upgrade, or replacement needs could raise safety concerns.
For example, if the building’s ventilation system is functioning poorly or inefficiently, its impact may not be limited just to wasting money. It could actually be resulting in lower air quality. Depending on the materials being used in the building and the severity of the problem, this adds a safety-based incentive to prioritize necessary improvements.
Additionally, safer and more comfortable employees are proven to be more productive.
5. Why you shouldn’t hesitate getting an energy audit completed
There’s always some room for improvement, and no business should be willing to ignore a smart investment. An energy audit can result in lower operating costs, higher profit, lower environmental impact, and improved safety and productivity.
Going back to that age-old adage, “you can’t decide where you’re going until you figure where you’ve been.” As a forward-thinking commercial building owner or facility manager in the North Carolina or Virginia areas, deciding where your facility is going financially is vital to your continued success. So, don’t procrastinate when it comes to figuring out where your facility has been by means of an energy audit.