An energy audit is a diagnosis of a building which consists of establishing a report in order to improve its energy performance through the planning and implementation of work, or through the installation of a system for analyzing and measuring energy data. Some organizations such as ADEME (French Environment and Energy Management Agency) offer model specifications as well as financial aid to reduce the cost of energy optimizations..
Which professionals can be consulted to perform an energy audit ?
Energy audits must be performed by service providers who have received a qualification issued by an independent organization. To obtain certification, the service provider must meet specific requirements in terms of skills, experience and resources used to perform an energy audit.
Energy auditors are generally architects or thermal engineers who have received certification in addition to their main activity. They can therefore be certified RGE Etudes certification (Recognized Environmental Guarantor), issued by official institutions such as OPQTECC or CERTIVEA.
The key steps of the energy audit
1 – Analysis of the construction
Initially, the energy audit consists of a complete energy diagnosis of the building. This analysis is performed in order to define a “zero point”, i.e. to understand the building’s energy consumption, apart from the uses of its occupants.
2 – Understanding how the building works
The process of analyzing the functionality of the building is equivalent to analyzing each energy consumption that it includes. This part of the study combines an analysis of each energy bill (gas, water, electricity etc…), which is then presented in a report. It allows the auditor to become familiar with the company’s needs..
3 –Setting up an optimization or work plan
At the end of the first stage of building analysis, the requesting company chooses the orientation of its work plan or the implementation of a measurement solution. It bases itself on the energy saving potential highlighted in the audit report.
It is on the basis of these observations that the service contractor works precisely on each source of energy expense with the aim of improving its performance. In the industrial sector, these sources are called utilities, a term that refers to energy resources such as heating, lighting and gas.
4 –Project implementation schedule
Whether it is a question of undertaking renovation, thermal insulation or implementing a solution for measuring energy consumption, it is essential to set up a global project schedule to organize actions to optimize energy performance.
Prioritizing the planned actions also helps to make the company’s various investments profitable.
In this respect, the energy audit is the starting point for the commitment of a company wishing to improve its energy performance. For large companies, the execution of an energy audit is made mandatory. It represents a significant potential for improving energy efficiency and reducing energy consumption, by an average of 30% in the first year. Companies covered by the ISO 500001 framework are exempt from the mandatory energy audit.