You Get What You Pay For
Energy Auditing is a profession, not a commodity. You can probably find less expensive energy auditors to provide audits for your building. But cheaper is usually not the better choice.
Most of our customers decide to have commercial energy auditing done because they want expert guidance. They want to know what are the best, most promising things they can do to reduce their energy usage. A poor quality commercial energy audit can lead you astray. The best opportunities might be missed, and you might end up installing technologies that either don’t save energy or don’t save as much energy as other more promising technologies could.
For example, an inexperienced energy auditor may suggest you install a condensing boiler and increase your boiler efficiency from 82% to 95%. That sounds promising, except, condensing boilers only save energy on lower temperature applications, such as slab heating. Condensing boilers are not designed to save energy when they provide hot water for air handling equipment, but most auditors don’t know this.
Inexperienced auditors may suggest you install occupancy sensors to reduce your lighting energy usage, but if you are using the incompatible ballasts, you will end up reducing your lamp life from 24,000 hours to 7,000 hours. You will likely end up spending much more money changing spent bulbs than you would save from reduced lighting usage.
There are many types of mistakes that inexperienced auditors make, and when they lead their unsuspecting customers astray money is wasted, either on the wrong technologies, the energy savings doesn’t meet expectations, or the best energy savings measures are not undertaken, and great savings opportunities are missed.
Quality and Reputation are Important to Us
At Abraxas, we believe that quality of our work is of paramount importance. All of our work gets reviewed by senior engineers before we deliver our reports. Our reputation is strong among our federal clients, and we have received over a million dollars in work from referrals from satisfied customers.
We Have Been Auditing Buildings Since 2001
It is of utmost importance to work with a company that knows buildings. We don’t fake it. Auditing is what we do, day in and day out. We have provided commercial energy auditing on over 30 million square feet of building stock in the past 5 years. Some of our most notable buildings include:
- The J. Edgar Hoover FBI Headquarters Building in Washington D.C.
- The Reagan Library
- The Bethesda Naval Hospital (where the Presidents get their medical check-ups)
- Macy’s downtown San Francisco store (which is an entire city block)
In addition, in the past 5 years we have audited and provided retro-commissioning on over 200 large retail stores, 30 hospitals and clinics, 60 office buildings, 15 data centers and telecommunications facilities, 10 restaurants, 10 industrial facilities, and 4 military bases. We have also performed audits and retrocommission for schools, colleges, universities, restaurants, churches, and other types of buildings.
We Are Not Trying To Sell You Something
There are many companies that provide energy auditing, sometimes for free, in order to sell you products or services.
When a HVAC company performs an audit, they find heating/cooling opportunities. Often they then seek to sell you a new and updated HVAC system.
When controls companies perform RCx audits, they find controls issues. They then often try to sell you a controls retrofit.
When electrical contractors…
“If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.”
If you want to evaluate all the possible energy savings opportunities, and you want to identify the best measures, then you should pay for an audit from an independent firm that is not trying to sell you something.
We Can Help Ensure That Your Contractors Install Your Energy Conservation Measures As Recommended
One of the biggest problems facing the energy efficiency business is that contractors often do not install the suggested measures right, and sometimes nobody becomes aware of the problem for years, if ever. There are several reasons for the measures not being installed right. One of them is that the energy audit does not clearly spell out just exactly what needs to be done to achieve the reported energy savings. When requested by our customers, we write scopes of work so that the contractors know exactly what needs to be installed. In addition, this makes implementing our suggested energy conservation measures much easier for the building operator, as someone was going to have to write the scope of work before the contractor could bid on the job.
Another shortcoming is not really associated with the energy audit per se, but with the entire process. It is important that the owner commission the energy conservation measures after they are installed to ensure that they are saving energy as they were designed. And it is important that the owner or some representative of the owner provide the commissioning, not the contractor who installed the equipment. Contractors know how to install equipment and make it work. They are often not well-versed in configuring equipment so that it uses as little energy as possible. Sometimes contractors will even value-engineer out (that is, remove) the most important components of a retrofit to cut costs and increase their profit.
We can provide this commissioning, or provide a commissioning plan for you, that you implement yourself. By having the commissioning plan pre-written, the contractor then will know precisely how the equipment must perform, and what tests must be successfully conducted on the equipment before you sign off on the work as complete.
Our Reports Are Understandable
It is important to us that our reports are well-written. As we see it, if our customers do not understand our report, then the report is not well-written. No sentence should have to be reread to extract its meaning.
Towards this end, all of our work undergoes a technical writing review.
We Are a Small Business And We Care About Our Clients
One of the differences between a small business and a large business is that small businesses generally care about their customers, because they have to. Every customer is important, and good word of mouth reputation is vital for success. When a small company’s reputation is damaged, the company will often fail. On the other hand, large companies will always find work due to their name recognition and perceived value. The small customer is often of no consequence for the large company. If difficulties arise, you will get to meet the highly paid legal staff of the large company, something you won’t find in small companies.