Energy audits aren’t just about identifying inefficient lighting fixtures and then recommending that they be replaced with more efficient ones. Certainly, this is part of the job, but it’s the easy part. Energy auditing requires a comprehensive understanding of control systems, package units, air handlers, boilers, chillers and their components – not to mention domestic hot water and compressed air.
Learning how to conduct energy audits of commercial buildings isn’t something that can be done in a week or two. It takes years of learning, watching others make mistakes, and making your own mistakes before becoming a proficient energy auditor. For example, there is a host of possible HVAC configurations, and an experienced auditor uncovers these new situations every year.
The trouble with inexperienced auditors is that they often fail to spot conservation opportunities, or they make suggestions that simply don’t work or make suggestions that can even damage equipment.
So when choosing an auditor, it’s vital to go with a company or individual with lots of experience. You don’t want them practicing on your job. Also, you should know what you’re paying for, so get a sample audit or two. With these in hand, you’ll be able to make sense of the different quotes from potential auditors.
Lastly, please ask for references, and follow them up. Find out if the company was professional, met its deadlines and provided quality energy audits.
At Belanger Engineering, our team of building science engineers is involved with performance improvement and repair. Our experience with electrical, mechanical and structural projects involves both restorative and new construction.