The energy audit is a diagnosis aimed at measuring the energy performance of a building. Its purpose is to plan improvements in the energy efficiency of one or more buildings. It may involve conducting repairs or setting up systems for measuring and analyzing energy data. How does the energy audit is conducted? What are its main stages?
1 – The definition of the purpose of the energy audit
Initially, the service provider in charge of performing the energy audit gathers all the necessary information, with a view to identifying improvements. This exchange time enables the auditor to identify the client’s performance expectations and to understand how energy is consumed by the building itself, as well as the uses of its occupants.
The expert analyzes the building, takes measurements and notes all the indicators useful for analyzing energy consumption. He then looks at elements such as the heating method, the energy bill, the electrical equipment or even the devices for improving indoor air quality.
2 – Analysis of the collected data
After collecting the necessary data on the building and its uses, the expert in charge of the energy audit analyzes them. By comparing the actual energy consumption data with the auditor’s project and/or the regulations surrounding the energy transition, he conducts an in-depth study. To do this, he uses thermal calculation software.
Following the analysis, the expert establishes a precise evaluation of the building, making it possible to identify the main sources of energy consumption, but also each energy loss point, and to classify them in order of importance. It is on this thermal study that he will rely when presenting an energy performance optimization plan to the auditing company. This action plan includes a set of improvement scenarios that will be submitted to the company commissioning the audit in the form of a report. It enables the auditing company to plan actions to achieve energy savings.
3 – Providing different scenarios for improving energy efficiency
The expert develops different scenarios corresponding to several possible improvements in the energy efficiency of a building or a company’s building stock. Each axis is developed in the report given to the auditor. This report can be consulted afterwards if the company chooses not to immediately execute all the recommended repairs and energy optimizations at the end of the audit.
To build the report, the expert takes into account both :
- the auditor’s expectations, gathered at the first stage;
- the building’s measurement readings;
- the results obtained during the analysis stage.
4 – Estimating the cost of the energy optimization plan
The financial analysis of the energy optimization project is an integrated part of the energy audit. Its purpose is to estimate the cost of performing repairs or, if applicable, installing a solution to measure the building’s energy consumption.
A specific and detailed financial analysis is developed in the engineering office for each improvement scenario. It gives an estimation of the cost of the optimizations to be planned and the potential return on investment for each of them. In addition, the auditing company may also have access to funding from the state, region or department, as well as local funding.