How to perform a energy audit of a commercial building?

The energy audit of a building is a diagnosis which aims to draw up an inventory of the energy consumption of a building, and to identify potential energy saving actions (thermal heating, water, electricity etc…). It is supported by a set of recommendations and an action plan to be implemented to improve the energy efficiency of the building.

The performance of an energy audit in the commercial and collective housing sectors is defined by specific regulations, generally referred to as a decree.

The global regulation around the tertiary energy audit

The conduct of a commercial energy audit is framed by the European standard EN 16247-2 Buildings. This is a new reference document specific to the commercial sector, in which energy audits serve a different purpose than in industry, for example. You can consult the law at any time on the AFNOR website.

As for the tertiary decree, it will be published in 2014 to provide specifications on the text of the law.

The legislation in force also regulates the obligation to perform an energy audit of buildings, which concerns every large company. These companies must perform mandatory energy audits, which must be carried out by a qualified auditor every 4 years. The mandatory audit concerns companies with more than 250 employees, or with a turnover of more than 50 million euros, or with an annual balance sheet of more than 43 million euros.

réaliser un audit énergétique bâtiment tertiaire

The different stages of the tertiary energy audit

Any complete energy study begins with a technical analysis of the building to collect data on its energy consumption, its equipment and its owner’s energy contracts. It is followed by the presentation of an energy optimization solution in the form of a plan for potential improvement of the building’s energy performance, as well as a detailed presentation of the cost of this improvement, all in one audit report.

The return on investment made through the management of building works or the installation of technological equipment for measuring and monitoring energy consumption is also closely analyzed. The client can then have a precise idea of the savings he will be able to make.

The key steps of the commercial building energy audit are directly defined by the European standard EN 16247. This is a set of standards indicating the methodology to be followed and the actions to be performed throughout the energy audit.

These standards also provide information on the requirements of the auditor’s position in terms of confidentiality and transparency as well as skills.

Who can you call on to perform your commercial building energy audit?

The commercial energy audit can be set up internally by the company, if it has a competent member to implement it, or an energy transition manager. This technical referent must meet impartiality standards and be able to present proof of his or her qualification.

The commissioning company may also call upon an external auditor to analyze its consumption, independent and qualified/accredited.  A decree dating from 2014 sets the requirements for the qualification of service providers performing energy audits. They must be certified by the OPQIBI (Organisme Professionnel de Qualification de l’Ingénierie Bâtiment et Industrie) or the LNE (Laboratoire National de métrologie et d’essai).  These qualification organisms must themselves be validated by COFRAC, on the basis of the European standard NF X 50-091.

The external service providers concerned working in a engineering office can therefore be trained through the OPQIBI, to OPQIBI 1905 for energy audits of commercial buildings and collective residences, to OPQIBI 1717 for industrial energy audits, and to OPQIBI 0607 for energy audits with regard to the transport of goods and/or people.