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Energy and environmental audits

10 February 2012

Our Carbon Trust accredited auditor, Linton Hartfield, briefly talks us through an energy audit: 

"An Energy audit takes many shapes and forms. It can be as simple as a walk around looking for quick wins ‘low hanging fruit’ all the way up to an investment grade audit.  The simpler quick wins audit will focus on how a space is utilised with particular concentration on occupant habits. Behavioral change is one of the cheapest and therefore cost effective recommendations to come out of this type of audit.

Following that, installing suitable timers and controls for heating, lighting and other loads can also lead to good low cost savings. The cost of energy efficiency often depends on the changing policy backdrop by which the government looks to promote carbon savings. The ‘off the shelf’ price for particular equipment does not account for the various subsidies/financing mechanisms which an energy audit brings to the fore.  The outcome of a quick wins audit will benchmark the site against others of similar type, it will detail the auditor's understanding of the building's construction, and list energy saving measures with financial and carbon savings/costs taking into account the total cost of ownership.

An investment grade audit require a greater level of analysis often because the type of upgrades being evaluated cost large sums of money. The investment grade audit aims to build a business case which an organization can rank against other investments with a high degree of confidence. This will often require logging equipment (power, temperature, vibration) and analyzing in detail the energy load profile of buildings in order to check and verify the audit findings. Logging can often bring about interesting surprises. Many times in my experience it has shown plant equipment to be running when time clocks have indicated it should be switching off.  

Ultimately, energy audits are customisable – it is very important to address the client’s needs and pitch the findings at the appropriate level. There is nothing worse than producing a report that does not lead to carbon savings!"

To discuss your requirements email us at info@carbondescent.org.uk

Linton carrying out an energy audit

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"The audits and the final reports from Carbon Descent were spot on and have given businesses a real road map to follow if they want to reduce their energy consumption over the next year."

Ben Stephenson, South Bank Employers Group