Commercial Building Energy Audits
For information on the San Francisco Existing Buildings Energy Performance Ordinance 0017-11, click here.
Why Have a Building Energy Audit Performed?
In these days of uncertainty, it is important to keep operating expenses to a minimum. One difference between companies that weather these difficult times and those which do not survive, will be that the survivors will have reduced their unnecessary expenditures before it is too late.
Unnecessary costs include a portion of your utility costs, which many companies had just considered “a cost of doing business.” By running an inefficient building, you are overpaying your utility for energy. It just doesn’t make any sense.
A good building energy audit will point the way to reduce your energy costs by 10% to 40%. For large organizations, this can be substantial, and could mean the difference between staying afloat and going under.
What is a Commercial Energy Audit?
A commercial building energy audit is a study of your building’s energy using equipment. Building energy audits often also look at water consumption (even though that is not technically considered energy). An energy auditor comes out to your building and interviews facility managers, inspects lighting, air conditioning, heating and ventilation equipment, controls, air compressors, water consuming equipment, and anything else that is using energy. The auditor will develop a list of energy conservation measures (ECMs) that could reduce energy usage and costs in your building.
Depending upon the level of building energy audit, the auditor will then quantify how much savings potential there is for each of these measures, and the costs associated with implementing them. Some measures will take decades to pay for themselves, while others will start paying for themselves within months.
Once you have read over your commercial building energy audit, our energy auditor will meet with you over the phone to discuss the report, and what your next steps are to start reducing your energy costs.
We investigate and quantify energy savings potential in:
- Lighting systems
- HVAC Systems and Controls
- Compressed Air Systems
- Renewable Energy Applications
- Electric Motors and Drives
- Process Systems
- Steam Systems
- Heat Recovery
- Building Envelope Upgrades
- Switching Utility Providers or Utility Rates
- and more!
How much money/energy can be saved by getting an energy audit?
When talking about possible energy savings in a facility from energy consulting, it’s impossible to make an accurate estimation without knowing many of the factors at play in the facility. Factors such as facility size, equipment, equipment usage, personnel, lighting, current utility usage, and more…can directly affect your energy savings.
With that said, we’ve seen savings upwards of 40% on some facilities, with the average savings being around 15-20%. If the facility has already had energy audits in the past, it’s possible that the facility is already efficient, and in that case, there wouldn’t be much we could do in the way of energy savings. If the facility has been in operation for many years without having had an energy audit, it’s very possible that we can save you lots of money.
Here’s a great example of energy wasted. This is an over-lit, air-conditioned server room – click on the image at right to see the lack of servers in it!
Since it’s extremely difficult to assess how much you, individually, and your facility can save without knowing more about your company, we will gladly provide you with a free consultation. By having this consultation, we can decide whether or not you need an energy audit at all, and if you do, what kind would best suit you and your facility.
How much time does it take to perform an energy audit?
Just as with determining how much money can be saved by performing an energy audit, it’s difficult to estimate how long an energy audit will take in your facility.
There are many factors to consider when estimating how long an energy audit will take, but the biggest one is probably the overall facility size. Since we usually do large facilities with sizes ranging from 50 thousand square feet to 2 million square feet, we can roughly estimate how long an energy audit will take to perform on a facility around that size.
For a simple overview audit, an energy audit will usually only take half a day to do a walkthrough, and about two weeks to calculate savings and prepare a report.
For an ASHRAE Level 1 audit on a facility sized around 100,000 sq ft, an energy audit will probably take up to one day to complete a walkthrough, and less than month to calculate savings and prepare a report.
For a more in-depth ASHRAE Level 2 audit on a facility sized around 100,000 sq ft, an energy audit will probably take one day to complete a walkthrough, and less than month to calculate savings and prepare a report.
For the most in-depth audit possible, the investment-grade audit, on a facility sized around 100,000 sq ft, an energy audit will generally involve a three to six day walkthrough, and anywhere from one to two months to complete a report.
If you have a smaller or larger facility, an industrial facility, or if you have a facility with an unusually high number of energy-consuming devices, the time required to complete an audit can vary greatly. In order for us to provide you with an accurate time estimate, please feel free to contact us so we can get to know your facility a little bit better.
Why Use Abraxas Energy Consulting?
Some utilities offer free commercial energy audits that involve just a telephone call, or you filling out a web form. Others will provide free building energy audits conducted by their own employees, who have not yet gained the energy knowledge that only comes with years of experience.
You have to be careful who you have do your audits.
With the collapse of the financial and mortgage sectors, you will see an inrush of inexperienced “energy auditors” rushing into the field. Be careful who you have conduct your energy audits. In order to avoid an energy audit disaster we provide a comprehensive Guide to Picking a Quality Energy Auditor. As with any industry, let the buyer beware.
Our energy auditors all have 10+ years of experience auditing buildings. Our auditors are Certified Energy Managers (CEMs) and/or Professional Engineers (PEs).
John Avina, CEM, CMVP, is internationally recognized as an expert on Option C M&V, and utility bill analysis. Mr. Avina founded and has led Abraxas Energy Consulting since 2001. He has conducted energy audits and performed energy analyses on hundreds of buildings for over 13 years.
Ertun Reshat, CEM is a mechanical and energy engineer with extensive experience in the energy conservation field. His expertise includes analysis and design of mechanical and electrical systems. He has extensive experience in energy engineering, energy audits and facility condition assessments, site energy use modeling, energy savings calculations, life cycle cost analysis, feasibility studies for distributed generation projects, as well as calculating utility incentives. He is proficient in data collection and real time monitoring systems for low and high voltage equipment.
We Have Been Doing Energy Audits for Years!
All of our energy auditors have been performing building energy audits for over 10 years. In 2007, we performed commercial energy audits throughout the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom on:
- 8 office buildings
- 65 theaters
- 127 schools
- 7 colleges
- 5 hospital campuses
- 1 prison
- 2 hospitals
- 23 telecommunications switching facilities
- 2 banks
- 21 public housing developments
- 2 cemeteries
- 2 ships
When it comes to performing commercial energy audits, we know what we’re doing.