If your business is interested in improving its energy efficiency, one of the first steps you’ll take is the completion of an energy audit. This is an examination and audit of your business’s current energy usage and a study of potential improvements.
Think of an energy audit as you would a financial audit – it’s a detailed analysis of where your business is spending energy and the potential savings that it could be making by implementing changes.
Energy audits are often detailed and in-depth, looking at issues such as window or skylight placement, building insulation and other factors. While there’s a lot of data to examine, it can be broken down easily by asking the right questions.
From searching for “big wins” that involve little cost or effort to determining a long-term vision for your company’s energy usage, read on to discover five questions you should ask while carrying out an energy audit for your business.
What are the “big wins” that we can achieve with small changes?
Sometimes the smallest changes to your building’s design or insulation – or, in many cases, to your company’s energy consumption habits – can have the biggest positive impact on your total energy usage.
When you’re carrying out an energy audit, instead of looking at the biggest changes you can make, instead look for the small changes that can have the biggest impact on your business’s total energy consumption.
What changes can we make that achieve two goals at once?
Many businesses often face two energy-related problems that can be solved with a single solution. For example, both ambient heat loss and lack of natural light can be solved by installing daylighting systems that are treated to prevent heat transfer.
Instead of solving one energy-related issue at a time, look for small changes that you can make for your business that solve multiple problems. By combining this with the question above, you can make large energy savings at a surprisingly low cost.
What additional benefits will this decision produce?
Becoming more energy efficiency has benefits other than reducing your company’s energy consumption. For example, daylighting systems have the additional benefit of increasing your workplace’s average productivity level.
This question is similar to the one above, but focused on goals external to energy efficiency, rather than multiple energy efficiency goals. Whenever possible, try to produce additional benefits beyond energy usage reductions with your changes.
Which changes can be implemented quickly at a low cost?
A key component of becoming energy efficient is taking immediate action. One of the biggest impediments to taking action for many businesses is the cost of making large changes to the way they operate.
When you’re carrying out an energy audit for your business, ask which changes can be implemented quickly at a low cost. Quick action means you’ll produce immediate savings, whereas starting a larger project can result in delays and limited results.
What should our key area of focus be for energy efficiency?
An energy audit is a detailed study of the ways in which your business uses energy as part of its operations. It covers many aspects of energy usage, from lighting and office equipment to HVAC systems, insulation and more.
By focusing on one aspect of energy efficiency, you can create large improvements that produce immediate results. It’s often better to focus entirely on one aspect of energy efficiency than to spread your efforts too thin across multiple goals.
How can your business become more energy efficient?
Energy efficiency has numerous benefits, from reducing your company’s costs to making it a more desirable place to work. Learn more about how your company could benefit from energy efficiency, particularly energy efficient daylighting.