The objective of an energy audit is to qualify and quantify how a building’s energy using systems are performing, what is required to improve building efficiency, and what will be the benefits of the improvements.
The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) has defined three levels of audits. The primary determining factor on what level audits are performed is based on the potential and desire for energy savings, building performance, available funding and the relative return on investment. Each tier of audit builds upon the last, meaning all the features listed in an ASHRAE level 1 audit will also be included in an ASHRAE level 2, and everything in levels 1 and 2 will be included in the level 3 audit.
ASHRAE Level 1
- A review of historical utility data including electric use, demand, and fuel (if applicable).
- Rate structure considerations, such as taking advantage of different utility rate classes and or time of use adjustments.
- A walk through survey of energy consuming systems and preliminary drawings review.
- Interviews with operators and owners to determine comfort or air quality issues and major energy using systems.
- Identifying low-cost or no-cost energy efficiency measures (EEM) to save money and energy.
- Identifying other opportunities to consider and potential EEM capitol recommendations.
- A comprehensive review of EEMs (no-cost, low-cost, and opportunities to consider) with Owner or Owner's Representative.
ASHRAE Level 2
Everything in ASHRAE Level 1 plus:
- A per component cost breakdown of electric use, demand, and fuel (if applicable).
- An extensive review of as built drawings, specifications, O&M records, repair/replacement history, and control systems as available.
- Interviews with operators and owners to determine operation and maintenance issues and solutions
- Determining and analyzing key operating parameters such as load conditions, setpoints, schedules, controls, and efficiencies.
- In depth calculations showing the potential energy savings of all the proposed EEMs along with any non quantifiable ancillary improvements (thermal, reliability, air quality, aesthetic, etc.) that may come as a result.
- A summary of the cost of implementation, simple payback, and simple ROI broken down by measure.
- A quality assurance review with comments from the owner or owners representative to determine which EEMs are feasible and appropriate.
ASHRAE Level 3
Everything in ASHRAE Levels 1 and 2 plus:
- Longer term data collection along with trending and current whole building operation analysis.
- A cost analysis that includes a vendor in writing quoting a price for the work.
- A Life-cycle Cost Analysis (LCCA) with initial costs, financing costs, tax credits, rebates, and maintenance estimates.
- A high and low risk assessment analysis of technical, operational, and fiscal parameters that are uncertain and vital to each EEM