What is an Energy Audit?

Fast read

A building's energy use is checked in an energy audit to find ways to improve and make it more energy efficient.

Three main types of energy audits exist, these are building, general, and investment grade audits.

A general energy audit can result in energy savings of up to 20%. A building energy audit checks how well a building saves energy and finds cheap ways to make it better. Investment grade audits are the most thorough and are typically only advised for large-scale companies with extensive commercial real estate holdings.

An energy audit can save money, improve comfort, and increase property value. It assesses heating, cooling, insulation, lighting, appliances, and overall energy use in a building.

What is an energy audit and 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 energy audit can provide energy savings of up to 20%.

The duration from starting the final report is usually two to three months. Holding them every three to five years is recommended. 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. A large amount of energy data is shared with the auditor over multiple periods.

This allows for analysing energy 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.

Usually, no set time frames exist for an investment-grade audit. Instead, the audit will cater to the client’s needs.

Energy Audit

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, they usually help clients save 5% to 30% on their electricity bills.

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 learn a few reasons why specific issues occur in your home.

For example, if your home is always cold, the energy 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 panels and battery energy 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 companies offer you an initial questionnaire. The auditor uses this information to assess your home. They look at your electricity and gas bills, meters, house layout, and who lives there. They also take note of any specific concerns you may have.

During the energy 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. Additionally, it can also be a tax write-off and can cost you next to nothing out of pocket.

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 extremely 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.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Find your local installer