Importance of an Energy Study

You don’t know what you can save if you don’t know what you have. With businesses focusing on what makes them profitable, their products or services, it is easy to overlook the low hanging fruit that is hindering their success. An energy study, also known as an energy audit, is the perfect solution to uncover savings while allowing your business to do what it does best.

What is an Energy Study?

There are three energy study levels which are dependent on the amount of effort that is required. These differences can be seen in the figure below. However, the processes for each are very similar. According to ASHRAE, an energy study comprises of the following:

  • Analyzing historical energy usage
  • Reviewing utility purchasing strategies
  • Conducting employee interviews
  • Assessing building and operation procedures
  • Identifying energy conservation measures (ECM)
  • Performing economic and environmental analysis
  • Compiling study report

This information provides a complete picture of what a facility’s energy performance baseline is now, where it can be in the future, and how to get there.

Energy Study Benefits

The greatest benefit of an energy study is that it positively affects economics, environment, society, and culture. Economically, the recommended ECMs reduce energy costs of a facility which in turn makes a business more profitable. Environmentally, ECMs reduce the amount of direct and indirect emissions from building or process operation. Societal and culturally, as changes and initiatives are implemented within a business, they can affect employee behaviors outside of work to be more energy conscious.

Energy Conservation Measure Example

In order to prove the benefits mentioned above, pretend that replacing 50 halogen high bay lights with fixture mounted occupancy sensor LEDs is a recommended ECM. These existing lights are in operation 24/7 while there is only one, 8 hour shift performed on weekdays. Look at the impact this simple project would have:

Tenergy Energy Study Report

With a better understanding of what an energy study is as well as its benefits, you may be considering that now is a good time to have a study performed. At Tenergy our energy reports follow FirstEnergy guidelines and consist of the following at a minimum:

  • Cover Letter – Includes client’s name, name and location of facility, date submitted, and identity and contact information of the auditor.
  • Facility Overview – Describes the energy study report and its purpose. Includes:
    • Square Footage
    • Age of Facility and Major Additions/Renovations
    • Overview of Facility Use
    • General Construction Materials
    • General Dimensions
    • Hours of Occupancy/Number of Shifts
    • Characterization of Area Usage
    • Description of Base Systems (Lighting, HVAC, Process, etc.)
  • Executive Summary – Describes energy study scope and summary table of recommended ECMs
  • ECM Application Section – Detailed narrative description of each recommended ECM and cost saving measure. Documents all key engineering assumptions made in analyzing each measure and describes method of analysis. Includes estimated installation costs, annual energy savings, peak demand savings if applicable, simple payback, and potential incentives.

In Conclusion

Energy studies recommend energy conservation measures which positively affect all of a business’s sustainability initiatives. By having Tenergy perform a study on your behalf, you are able to focus on the core of your business while receiving a plan to make it even more profitable. Don’t keep throwing money away year after year. Contact us to set up an initial consultation today! Save Energy. Cut Emissions. Save Money.