What is an Energy Audit?

An Energy Audit, or Review, is an investigation of all facets of an organisation’s historical and current energy use with the objective of identifying and quantifying areas of energy wastage within the organisation’s activities. It is best carried out by an Accredited Energy Master Auditor.

An Energy Audit establishes the baseline for any improvements in an organisation’s energy use. It provides a comprehensive and systematic method for targeting cost effective efficiency gains. There are many examples where clients have been able to make savings without requiring any significant capital investment.

An Auditor should work with their clients to ensure those savings are achieved and sustained in the long term. The objective is to have all identified improvement projects “payout” within two to four years, equivalent to a return on investment of between 25 – 50%. Anybody receiving an accredited Energy Audit should expect to receive recommendations for savings between 5 – 15% as a typical starting point.

If you are interested in having an Energy Audit carried out on your site or business, you should contact one of the Energy Master Auditors directly.

If you would like more information about the process before talking to an Auditor, please feel free to contact CEP.

Audit phases

There are generally three phases to an Energy Audit, depending on the complexity and detail required by the client:

  1. Investigation phase
  2. Monitoring phase
  3. Analysis and reporting phase

Types of Energy Audit

(As referenced from the AS/NZS 3598.1:2014 & AS/NZS 3598.2:2014 Energy Audits Standards)

Type 1 / Level 1 – Basic Energy Audit

These audits:

  • Provide a quantitative overview that is typically suitable for smaller sites with lower energy expenditures, or as a scoping audit for larger sites. Type 1 defines the minimum level of detail for an audit required to comply with the Standard.
  • Provide a quantitative overview of energy performance and identify low cost and no-cost opportunities with payback periods of up to 2 years. The accuracy of costs and benefits would generally only be sufficient for low cost operational expenditures or as a method for prioritising opportunities for more detailed assessment.

Type 2 / Level 2 – Detailed Energy Audit

These audits:

  • Provide detailed analysis of energy performance to quantify the full range of opportunities for a site. Type 2 defines a detailed level of audit involving a comprehensive review and analysis of equipment, systems, and operational characteristics of the whole building to enable quantifiable energy savings recommendations.
  • Are required to include financial analysis of recommended energy performance improvement actions, using estimates that are of sufficient accuracy for operational expenditures or medium-scale capital investments.
  • Of commercial buildings as a whole are often referred to as ‘Investment Grade’ audits in that context.

Type 3 / Level 3 – Precision Subsystem Audit

These audits:

  • Are detailed audits of specific subsystems, with additional data gathering and measurement to provide a higher level of accuracy. Audits of this type are typically focused on a process or subsystem level, such as for HVAC, building management systems, compressed air or lighting, rather than a whole site.
  • Involve onsite measurements to monitor energy data over a period long enough to capture the various operating conditions and relevant variables, in order to be able to quantify costs and benefits to a level sufficient to meet the site’s capital expenditure process requirements.
  • Of Industrial and related operations are often referred to as ‘Investment Grade’ audits in that context.