Energy audits provide investors with a comprehensive understanding of building energy use. The purpose of energy auditing is to understand the opportunities to reduce energy consumption & cost in an occupied multifamily building while increasing tenant comfort, health and safety.
Energy auditing is one tool used in the overall management of energy expenditures of a building. The management of energy expenditures considers four factors:
The energy needed to achieve the building function and maintain occupant comfort
The maintenance and retrofit plan for the building
Reducing the unit cost of purchased energy
Reducing energy consumption
The following are ASHRAE‘s description of the four levels of energy audits:
This first analysis consists in a preliminary Whole Building Energy Use (WBEU) analysis based on the analysis of the historic utility use and costs and the comparison of the performances of the buildings to those of similar buildings. This benchmarking of the studied installation allows determining if further analysis is required
Walk-through multifamily energy auditing: Preliminary analysis made to assess building energy efficiency to identify not only simple and low-cost improvements but also a list of energy conservation measures (ECMs, or energy conservation opportunities, ECOs) to orient the future detailed audit. This inspection is based on visual verifications, study of installed equipment and operating data and detailed analysis of recorded energy consumption collected during the benchmarking phase
Detailed/General energy multifamily energy auditing: Based on the results of the pre-audit, this type of energy audit consists in energy use survey in order to provide a comprehensive analysis of the studied installation, a more detailed analysis of the facility, a breakdown of the energy use and a first quantitative evaluation of the ECOs/ECMs selected to correct the defects or improve the existing installation.
Investment-Grade multifamily energy auditing: Detailed Analysis of Capital-Intensive Modifications focusing on potential costly ECOs requiring rigorous analysis study. This level of analysis can involve advanced on-site measurements and sophisticated computer based simulation tools (Energy Modeling
) to evaluate precisely the selected energy retrofits; This level also allows for compounding energy improvements to be analyzed as stand alone or packaged improvements.
Energy auditing begins by identifying energy end uses and attempts to eliminate end use waste before considering efficiency gains in the primary equipment. For example, in a hot water heating system, end uses such as baseboard perimeter heaters, unit heaters, and heating coils in the ventilation air would be examined for energy savings before the boiler was examined for savings. Improvements made in energy end use may marginalize improvements in the primary equipment. The level of detail and the objectives vary between different multifamily energy auditing types. Our firm commonly performs ASHRAE Energy Auditing Levels I, II and III. (download Auditing Levels PDF)
Many Federal, State and Utility based energy program require energy auditing and energy modeling to be performed to apply for funding incentives, rebates, loans and grants. Our firm’s energy auditing is performed in accordance with all applicable standards including AEE, ASHRAE, the Building Performance Institute (BPI) and others as required.
Keely Felton | Strategic Energy Group | E-mail | 207-939-4983