Have you have decided to optimize your energy spends? Are you contemplating an energy audit? That is great news.
However, exercise caution and avoid any energy audit disasters (yes, they are a thing). The first hindrance to a good energy audit is choosing the wrong auditor. This is very likely because anyone and everyone today is claiming to be an energy auditor. Above this, it isn’t easy to choose an auditor because there is barely any consistency in their understanding of an energy audit.
Here is how you may be in for an energy audit mistake-
Certified & Accredited Energy Auditors
The dwindling world economy has made everyone insecure with unemployment and low wages. It is thus natural that those who aren’t earning are looking out for ways to earn.
Energy consulting as a sector hasn’t been affected by the slowdown as yet. The companies are still hiring. The demand for energy auditors has also surged because most companies are targeting cost cuts. This has offered promising avenues to energy auditors. Don’t be surprised if you see real estate managers, mechanical contractors, electrical contractors, and even equipment dealers offering to audit your manufacturing facility.
With the advent of ginormous companies in the domain, the unemployed are seeking to learn to be energy auditors. In a way, this is good because the soaring competition has made the audit costs go down. However, the quality of audits is suffering due to inexperienced players in the market. Some of them are just acting as brokers and outsourcing the process. It is a good idea to look into their experience.
Standard Energy Audit Requirements
This is one of the major reasons that leaves people confused or with an ineffective audit. Imagine a company conducting an energy audit in 5 hours, whereas another taking a month to do the same. As a customer, it isn’t easy to assess what is ideal. The American Society of Heating Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) has come up with clearly defined requisites of energy audits to deal with this. These are divided into three levels. The idea behind this was to ensure that all auditors perform the same steps to achieve the same quality of the report. However, it hasn’t been achieved as it was intended to.
Below are the ways that can help you make the right decision and save your money:
Cost of Energy Audit
In current times, it is not unlikely that you may get energy offers as low as your local plumber’s cost. Remember that choosing a good auditor that has studied energy and has technical expertise will cost a lot more. Remember, good quality comes at a price. Opt for experienced and credentialed energy auditors.
How to Avail a Free Energy Audit?
Some companies offer free audits or those at very low prices. This is often because the company will try to sell a device that claims to offer energy savings. Some other vendors like to perform the energy-saving measures for you once the flaws are spotted in the audit. While the second kind is more likely to perform a comprehensive audit, the former won’t. This is because their audit will be focused only on their offering. As a result, you may lose some significant energy-saving opportunities. Some non-profit organizations also perform free audits, but inexperienced auditors, unfortunately, conduct those. It is thus important to know the intent and also to research a bit about their experience.
Is the Auditor an Experienced Energy Auditor?
Energy auditing requires knowledge of stuff like chillers. Air handlers, control systems, boilers, etc., in addition to lighting fixtures and fans. There is a lot more to energy auditing that needs time to build competency. It requires vast experience for someone to be a good energy auditor. Inexperienced auditors may be cheap but cannot deliver at a strategic level, keeping in mind your business objective. Some suggestions may even cause equipment damage. It is thus critical to focus on the experience. Look for at least ten years of experience in a firm that you consider. It is a good idea to ask who will perform the audit, look at their credentials, and check with previous organizations.
Tips to Evaluate & Select a Successful Energy Audit Firm
- Take a quote from and assess 3-4 companies before choosing the best
- Ask for sample audits and compare the quality of analysis
- Check with firms they recently audited
- Ask for detailed proposals of their mode of operation
If you have a small manufacturing facility and too many steps seem like overkill to you, relax your assessment criteria but do not choose solely based on price. For help and support for your energy auditing needs, call SkillDemand Energy today!