Energy Audits: What your business needs to know

July 12, 2023

Looking to reduce your energy costs and support a more sustainable future for our planet? Learn how an energy audit can benefit your business and the environment.

Without awareness, issues can go undetected. While this might suit some business owners, others will agree it’s best to be in the know, especially when energy consumption and sustainability are involved. 

And with net zero objectives on the horizon, numerous businesses worldwide are investing in energy efficiency solutions, with 54% already invested and another 40% planning on sustainable improvements in 2022/2023.   

But to become more energy efficient, you must first understand your overall energy consumption and conditions so you can manage the situation and make more informed decisions. That’s where an energy audit comes in.  

WHAT IS AN ENERGY AUDIT?  

Energy audits examine the energy efficiency of a business from the commercial/industrial building, property, or site. Professional environmental and energy efficiency experts complete the survey by assessing the various energy consumption across electricity, gas, building conditions and work processes.

Some energy audits and environmental assessments are mandatory in the UK. For example, the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) is an energy efficiency scheme that requires a large organisation to cover 95% of its activities with an energy audit.

Unlike residential energy audits concerned with weatherproofing and insulation, business energy audits focus on the internal aspects of energy production, such as HVAC, lighting, and machinery.

TYPES OF ENERGY AUDIT

Energy audits can be divided into various sections, depending on what they’re analysing and the purpose:

• The assessment of energy bills and utility data alongside building/equipment analysis.

• The evaluation of operating conditions.  

• Calculating an estimation of energy saving potential.

• Developing a carbon reduction strategy and management system.

• Providing energy efficiency solutions.

ESOS/SECR auditing, reporting and compliance.

Depending on the business needs, audits can be customised to focus on specific features or a general energy overview and with each type of audit, there are different levels of energy auditing.

THE 3 LEVELS OF AN ENERGY AUDIT

Level 1: Walk-through analysis (Preliminary)

The initial walk-through analysis will inspect the environment, identifying any cost-saving opportunities alongside energy waste and consumption issues while reviewing energy bills and interviewing managers and staff about processes.

Level 2: Energy survey (Detailed)

Level 2 is a more detailed evaluation that includes data and additional information with various diagnostic testing, such as light levels, air flow and temperature measurements. This assessment can provide further insight into renewable energy alternatives and require sustainable energy engineering expertise.

Level 3: Long-term sustainability (Advanced)  

Level 3 provides the most advanced business energy audits, suiting companies with net-zero intentions. As a more extensive practice, technicians calculate building energy management data to inform business owners on how to invest in more sustainable solutions.

WHY ARE ENERGY AUDITS IMPORTANT FOR YOUR BUSINESS?

So now we have a better idea of the different types and levels of energy audits for businesses. Why should your company invest?

Well, not only is it right for your business to take responsibility for its energy consumption and waste, but energy audits come packed with benefits.

WHAT IS THE MAIN AIM OF AN ENERGY AUDIT?

• To provide awareness of energy consumption and waste with views on improving energy efficiency.

• Establish an energy management system that serves sustainable objectives for your business.

• Save money and energy for your business.

• Satisfy compliance with environmental regulations. 80% of businesses have internal sustainability goals for energy evolution and efficiency.

• Establish sustainable values that support the environment and your reputation. 80% of people are more likely to choose a brand with a positive approach to sustainability.

By lowering your exposure to rising energy bills and meeting environmental regulations, your business avoids further hassle in the future, alongside developing sustainable values that serve the world and your customer.

In becoming more sustainable and environmentally conscious, you naturally attract people with those shared values, whether retaining your best staff, attracting future candidates, or satisfying customers to become loyal brand advocates.

THE ENERGY AUDIT PROCESS

So, now we’ve defined an energy audit, its importance and benefits, let’s have a look at what the process looks like so you can prepare accordingly:

• Contact an energy audit provider and schedule a meeting.

• The energy auditor will arrive onsite where you need to inform and protect them from any health and safety regulations.

• Before beginning the site assessment, the auditor should receive any necessary PPE (personal protective equipment).

• The auditor will then present and agree with the site manager on an outlined inspection schedule.

• The auditor then completes a full site tour to determine how your processes work before identifying the energy you use and how you impact the environment.

• After the tour, the auditor will conclude the survey with an initial summary of findings and offer any potential carbon reduction or energy efficiency recommendations.

• The auditor will allow enough time to answer any follow-up questions prompted by the summary.

• Leaving the site, the auditor will produce the official assessment, including the overall site survey, energy efficiency metrics, and a GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions reduction report.

During the inspection, the auditor may look to cover the following questions to satisfy environmental compliance:

• What type of emissions to you generate?

• Do you track your environmental impact?

•  Are your environmental impacts compliant with government and regulation standards?

• Do you have any objectives or targets for your environmental impact?

• Have you conducted environmental compliance training?

• Are your processes audited?

• Is there a site plan available detailing environmental impact points?

CREATE A GREENER FUTURE WITH OUR SUPPORT

Hopefully, this guide has given you a clearer overview of an energy audit so you can take the necessary steps towards being a more sustainable business.

But on the flip side, if you’re not sure where to start or don’t have the time to get the ball rolling, it might be worth contacting an expert.  

At Earth Hub, we provide professional, efficient and cost-effective energy efficiency audits and solutions for various companies across the UK. 

Using a simple approach, we can help your business understand its energy consumption before introducing new greener measures. 

Our friendly environmental consultants cover energy audits and other surveys, such as SECR (Streamlined energy and carbon reporting) and ESOS (The Energy Savings Opportunities Scheme).

Get in touch today for more details about how our energy auditing services can help your business create a brighter tomorrow. 

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