An energy audit is an examination of an energy system to ensure that energy is being used efficiently. It is the inspection, survey and analysis of energy flows for energy conservation in a building. Energy audits can be conducted by building managers who examine the energy account of an energy system, checks the way energy is used in its various components, checks for areas of inefficiency or where less energy can be used, and identifies the means for improvement.
An energy audit is often used to identify cost effective ways to improve the comfort and efficiency of buildings. In addition, homes/ enterprises may qualify for energy efficiency grants from central government. Energy audits seek to prioritize the energy uses from the greatest to least cost effective opportunities for energy savings.
An energy audit is an effective energy management tool. By identifying and implementing improvements as identified, savings can be achieved not only on energy bills, but also equipment will be able to attain a longer life under efficient operation. All these mean actual dollar savings.
An energy audit has to be conducted by a competent person with adequate technical knowledge on building services installations, after which he/she comes up with a report recommending plans on the Energy Management Opportunities (EMO) for energy saving.
An energy audit culminates to a written report. This could show energy use for a given time period (for example a year) and the impact of any suggested improvements per year. Energy audit reports are then used to identify cost effective ways to improve the comfort and efficiency of buildings. The energy audit report therefore gives management an understanding of the energy consumption scenario and energy saving plans formulation.
Energy audit reports should always translate into action. No matter how well articulated, the energy management objectives are afterall an energy audit (EMOs), all the effort will be futile if no action is taken. The link between the audit and action is the audit report. It is therefore important for the audit reports to be understandable for all the target audiences/ readers, all of whom may have diverse needs, hence the reason why they should be clear, concise and comprehensible.
What are the do’s and don’ts when writing energy audit reports?
Avoid technical jargon as much as possible; present information graphically; use different graphics such as pie charts, data tables. Schematics of equipment layouts and digital photos tend to make EMO reports less dry. Some of the energy audit software’s come in handy in the generation of such graphs and charts.
The climax of it all is the recommendations, which should be made very fascinating.