Energy Audit – Keep Track of your Energy Usage | Updated 2024

by Raja Mehar
Published: Last Updated on 586 views

Thanos, from the movie Avengers: Infinity War, stated, “This universe is finite, its resources finite. If life is left unchecked, life will cease to exist.” In one way, he was right. Earth’s resources, which we consume daily, are finite. One day, coal, natural gas, and other resources will run out. What can we do? Energy conservation is the answer.

Using less energy to accomplish more. However, this is not the ultimate solution. Resources will eventually deplete, but more slowly. This gives scientists and engineers time to develop new means of free, unlimited, or efficiently recyclable energy sources.

What Is Energy Consumption?

To begin energy conservation, we first need to know our current energy consumption. This analysis can be done at home, in individual industries, or on a national or international scale. The systematic process of evaluating energy usage is called an “Energy Audit.”

What is an Energy Audit?

An energy audit involves inspecting and analyzing energy flows. The goal is to conserve energy by reducing the input that negatively impacts output. This process helps prioritize energy uses according to cost-effective opportunities for saving energy.

Types of Energy Audits

The term “Energy Audit” encompasses a broad range of energy studies, from quick inspections to identifying major problem areas. Regardless of the facility or building, every energy audit involves six key steps:

  1. Analyzing energy bills, utility data, and installed equipment.
  2. Inspecting real operating conditions.
  3. Understanding the building’s response to climate and weather. (Read How To Fix Climate Change)
  4. Selecting energy-saving measures.
  5. Estimating energy-saving potential.
  6. Identifying customer concerns and needs.

Levels of Energy Audits

Based on the comprehensiveness of the report, energy audits can be divided into four levels, as defined by ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air-Conditioning Engineers):

Level 0 – Benchmarking: Initial inspection based on energy utility bills and comparing the building’s performance with similar buildings.

Level 1 – Walk-through Audit: Preliminary analysis to inspect energy efficiency and identify conservation measures. This includes visual inspection and studying installed equipment and energy consumption data.

Level 2 – Detailed/General Energy Audit: A comprehensive analysis of installations, including quantitative studies of conservation measures. It often uses sophisticated computer simulations for precise results.

Level 3 – Investment-Grade Audit: A detailed analysis focusing on the capital involved in energy conservation measures.

Additionally, there are specific audits, such as pollution audits, which analyze greenhouse gas emissions.

Performing Energy Audits

You can perform energy audits in two ways: hire a professional or do it yourself. Professional audits are best for identifying energy losses in homes or businesses. However, DIY audits can still provide valuable insights into areas where energy can be saved.

Steps for a DIY Energy Audit

  1. Detect Leaks: Check for gas pipeline leaks, steam, and air leakages. Properly sealing leaks can save 10-20% of energy, according to the US Department of Energy.
  2. Inspect Ventilation: Ensure a good amount of fresh air indoors and be aware of indoor air pollution. In homes with fuel-burning appliances, ensure adequate air supply for proper combustion. Burn marks around the appliance burner usually indicate poor air supply.
  3. Check Insulation: Poor insulation in ceilings and walls can cause significant heat loss. Inspect and ensure that heat from stoves and heaters is used efficiently within the home.
  4. Inspect Heating and Cooling Equipment: Annually inspect heating and cooling equipment. Perform load calculations to determine if your heating or cooling needs can be met with less energy.
  5. Inspect Your Whole House Plan: After identifying energy loss areas, make a plan to save energy by addressing the following:
    • How much do you spend on energy?
    • Where are the greatest energy losses?
    • How long will energy efficiency investments take to pay off in savings?
    • Can you do the job yourself, or do you need a professional?
    • What is your budget?
    • How much time do you have for maintenance and repairs?

Conclusion

Energy conservation is essential for our finite resources. By conducting energy audits and taking proactive steps to reduce energy consumption, we can extend the life of our resources and pave the way for more sustainable energy solutions. Feel free to comment and suggest any ideas or concepts you would like me to explain further. Thank you.

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