Why you should get an energy audit

Fast read

A building's energy consumption is examined as part of an energy audit to find areas for improvement and raise energy efficiency.

There are three typical types of energy audits: the building energy audit, the general energy audit, and the investment grade audit.

A general energy audit can result in energy savings of up to 20%. At the same time, a building energy audit determines the structure's energy efficiency and identifies the best low-cost opportunities for improvement. Investment grade audits are the most thorough and are typically only advised for big companies with plenty of commercial real estate.

Getting an energy audit has advantages such as lowering energy costs, enhancing home comfort, and raising the building's market value: heating and cooling systems, insulation, lighting, appliances, and general energy consumption patterns. 

What is an energy audit? Should I get one?

An energy audit is a type of inspection of the energy consumption of a residential or commercial building. The purpose of this is to identify precisely how the building uses energy. This allows you to identify opportunities for improvement. These improvements can help the residents or businesses occupying the building be more energy efficient, leading to increased savings on energy bills. 

The different types of energy audits

Building energy audit (Walk-through)

The first is a walk-through audit. This assesses the building’s energy efficiency to highlight low-cost areas that can be improved. Highlighting these areas of improvement also indicates whether any other audit, such as a General Audit, is required. 

A walk-through focuses on installed equipment, energy consumption patterns and operating data. The duration of this type of audit from the beginning to receiving the report is, at most, one month.

energy audit on blackboard written
Energy audits are the first step in increasing your home’s energy efficiency

General energy audit

The second type is a general energy audit. This type of audit can be the follow-up of a walk-through audit. This is the most popular type of energy audit.

The auditor will look at critical issues. From energy consumption to building strengths and weaknesses, the efficiency of equipment and work methods. Such an audit can provide energy savings of up to 20%.

The duration from the start to the final report is usually two to three months. It is recommended that they be held every three to five years. This is because technology changes.

Investment grade audit

The final type of energy audit is an investment-grade audit.

This is the most in-depth audit of the three. It is usually more of an ongoing process. A large amount of energy data is shared with the auditor over multiple periods of time.

This allows for energy analysis at a granular level. This audit offers the greatest accuracy and is usually only worth it for large businesses in commercial buildings. Especially those using a lot of software, manufacturing processes or many staff. 

There are usually no set time frames for an investment-grade audit. Instead, the audit will cater to the client’s needs. But a typical period from start to finish can be at least six months.

Energy Audit
Energy audits can give you easy solutions to weaknesses which are causing energy deficiencies

The benefits 

Save money

The first benefit of an energy audit is that you can save money because it identifies your energy consumption patterns.

You will be provided with precise information on how much energy each appliance uses. This provides the perfect platform for you to adjust your processes and energy usage patterns. Shaving dollars off your electricity bill. Furthermore, energy audits usually help clients save 5% to 30% on their electricity bills. So will you say no to saving money and generating less CO2?

Home comfort

Another benefit an energy audit will provide is improving your home and business’s comfort. As the energy audit reveals your energy uses, you may find out a few reasons why specific issues occur in your home.

For example, if your home is always cold, the audit could find that your insulation in the roof of the building is not thick enough or that the inlet filters of your ducted air-con have not been cleaned for years. You could then fix these issues, the comfort of your home will improve, and the energy bills will be reduced. 

Improved resale value

Increasing the building’s resale value is another benefit an energy audit can provide. Numerous surveys completed by businesses in the real estate industry have found that Australians and New Zealanders are considering the energy efficiency of buildings when they are looking to purchase.

This means they regularly pay more if the building has higher energy efficiency features. This includes double glazing, solar and battery systems or hot water heat pumps.

Suppose you conduct an energy audit and find areas where you can improve energy efficiency relatively cheaply. Such improvements usually have an excellent ROI, and we recommend undertaking them.

This could, in turn, increase the value of the building. Furthermore, you can even provide the information from the audit as evidence. 

What should be covered?

With an energy audit, some energy audit companies offer you an initial questionnaire. This enables the auditor to get a comprehensive overview of your household, including electricity bills, gas bills, electricity metres, house plans, orientation, and the occupants, as well as any special interests or areas of topics you want to address.

During the audit, ensure all following points have been assessed: Orientation of the house, heating and cooling, cross ventilation opportunities,  air conditioning and hot water systems, cooking appliances, refrigeration, insulation, lighting, draught-proofing, windows, plantings, and a bit more.

electrician performing energy audit
Just one energy audit will provide exponential financial savings

Business energy audit

If you own and run a business and want to conduct an energy audit. This can be highly beneficial for cost savings. It is also a tax write-off and can cost you very little out of pocket.

It will help reduce waste, increase profits, improve productivity, and reduce your carbon footprint. As well as allow your business to advertise itself as an environmentally friendly company along with many other benefits.

Everyone who owns a home or commercial building should seek an energy audit. The benefits you can get in return are unmatched. Furthermore, the information they collect is also very detailed and complex. Doing one will make your business much more energy efficient. It saves you money on your energy bills and could also improve your company processes. 

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