Energy - Energy Audits
An energy audit is a method of determining exactly where and how a building's energy is being used, and what opportunities exist for improvement. Recommendations may include changes to physical structures (windows, doors, insulation) and additional equipment or system retrofits, as well as behavioral changes on the part of building occupants or employees. In most cases, the cost of these changes is recovered over time in reduced operational costs.
An energy audit establishes a baseline of data which can be used in planning and monitoring the progress of energy reductions.
A basic audit includes a walk-through of the facility, review of energy usage data and comparison with industry standards. An advanced audit includes an analysis of all facility equipment and machinery, and provides specific recommendations and projections for energy and cost savings.
A computer simulation will predict system performance and includes consideration of climate and weather factors in its projections and recommendations. This type of audit is recommended for complex facilities and all new construction.
The U. S. Department of Energy has published a usefu guide to energy audits for commercial buildings.
The New Jersey State League of Municipalities is a voluntary association of local governments in New Jersey who share information resources. The League administers the state's Clean Energy Plan and has a helpful web page describing energy audits and sources of funding for governments and schools.