What Energy Auditors Do – A Guide to Energy Auditing
In recent years, energy auditing has become an increasingly in-demand profession as more and more businesses and organizations are looking to reduce their energy costs and ensure their operations are as efficient as possible.
But what does an energy auditor do?
An energy auditor specializes in optimizing energy efficiency and reducing energy costs for businesses and organizations. They are responsible for assessing the energy usage of a building or facility, identifying areas of improvement, and recommending changes to improve efficiency.
The goal of energy auditing is to improve the overall energy efficiency of buildings and facilities, reduce energy bills, and minimize environmental impact.
The role of energy auditors is becoming increasingly important as businesses and organizations look for ways to reduce their carbon footprint and increase their energy efficiency.
What does an Energy Auditor Do?
Understanding what an energy auditor does can help businesses, governments, and individuals save money, improve comfort, protect the environment, increase property values, ensure safety, and receive expert advice.
- Assessment of Energy Usage: An energy auditor’s first job is to assess a facility’s energy consumption. This involves assessing how energy is being used in the building and identifying what the significant energy uses are.
- Analysis of Energy Bills: Energy auditors also analyze energy bills to determine how energy is being used in the building. They look for patterns in energy consumption and identify areas where energy can be saved.
- Monitoring Energy Consumption: The energy auditor also monitors and tracks energy consumption over time. They use tools such as energy meters, temperature sensors, and other monitoring devices to gather data about energy usage.
- Identifying Energy-Wasting Habits: Energy auditors identify energy-wasting habits resulting in excessive energy usage and suggest ways to change them. They may recommend turning off lights and electronics when not in use, adjusting thermostats, and using natural light instead of artificial light.
- Evaluating the Building’s Envelope: Energy auditors evaluate the envelope of the building to identify areas where energy can be saved. They assess the insulation, air sealing, and ventilation systems to determine how they can be improved.
- Energy-Efficiency Recommendations: Energy auditors make recommendations to improve the building’s energy efficiency based on their assessment. They then recommend strategies for lowering energy consumption and increasing energy efficiency, such as upgrading to energy-efficient equipment, installing insulation, improving the control of equipment, and reducing inefficiencies.
- Implementation of Energy-Saving Measures: Energy auditors also help implement energy-saving measures. They provide guidance on how to install energy-efficient equipment, use energy-saving techniques, and monitor energy usage to ensure that energy-saving measures are working effectively.
The Functions and Responsibilities of Energy Auditors
What energy auditors do involve the following key functions and responsibilities:
- Assessment of Energy Use: Energy auditors assess the energy consumption patterns of a building, including electricity, gas, and water usage. They collect data from meters, monitoring systems, and other sources to identify areas of inefficiency.
- Identifying Energy Conservation Opportunities: Energy auditors look for opportunities to conserve energy, such as upgrading lighting systems, improving insulation, and installing energy-efficient equipment.
- Developing Energy Efficiency Recommendations: Based on their assessment, energy auditors develop a list of recommendations for improving energy efficiency. These recommendations may include changes to the building’s physical structure, such as adding insulation, or changes to the building’s operations and maintenance procedures.
- Conducting Cost-Benefit Analysis: Energy auditors assess the costs and benefits of different energy conservation measures and recommend the most cost-effective options.
- Providing Energy Education: Energy auditors educate building owners and occupants about energy conservation and help them understand the benefits of improving energy efficiency.
- Monitoring Energy Usage and Savings: Energy auditors monitor energy usage over time to ensure that their recommendations have the desired effect and to identify opportunities for further improvement.
- Keeping Up to Date with Industry Standards: Energy auditors stay up-to-date with the latest industry standards and regulations related to energy conservation.
The goal of an energy auditor is to help building owners and managers save energy, reduce costs, and improve the comfort and health of building occupants.
Different Energy Auditing Techniques: Commercial and Industrial
There are several different techniques used in energy auditing, each with its own advantages and limitations.
Some of the most common methods include:
- Visual Inspection: This is the simplest form of energy auditing and involves a walk-through of the building to identify visible energy-wasting practices, such as lights left on when no one is in the room or poor insulation in the walls and roof. This may also be known as a walk-through energy audit. It is often well suited as a preliminary audit for a business that is just starting out on its energy efficiency journey.
- Building Systems Analysis: This method involves a more detailed examination of the building’s mechanical and electrical systems, including heating and cooling systems, lighting, and appliances. The auditor will examine equipment specifications, operating schedules, and energy consumption data to identify opportunities for improvement. This is a standard component of a more detailed energy audit. An auditor will also look to identify inefficiencies in system design and may identify ways of reconfiguring or redesigning a system to use less energy whilst delivering the same or improved energy services.
- Infrared Thermal Imaging: Infrared thermal imaging involves using a thermal camera to take pictures of the building’s envelope (walls, roof, and windows) to identify areas of heat loss. This method is particularly useful for identifying air leaks and insulation gaps in the building envelope.
- Energy Simulation: Energy simulation is a computer-based modeling approach that uses thermodynamic models to predict the energy consumption of a building based on its design and operating parameters. A calibrated simulation then adjusts the simulation so that the energy use predicted by the model matches the actual energy use of the building. This method, whilst time-consuming and requiring special skills, is useful for predicting the energy savings that could be achieved with different retrofit options and for identifying the most cost-effective solutions. Building simulation is often used to estimate the savings from measures involving complex heat flows and heat transfer. For example, to determine the savings from converting a roof to a cool roof.
- Monitoring-Based Commissioning: This method involves installing energy-monitoring equipment in the building to collect data on energy consumption. The data can then be used to identify opportunities for improvement, and the meters installed can then be used to verify the effectiveness of energy-saving measures. This is also known as Monitoring and Targeting. Think of this as an ongoing perpetual audit, where, over time, a building is managed and tuned. Lots of small savings over several years can add up to large overall savings!
Energy auditing can be divided into two main categories – commercial and industrial.
Commercial and industrial energy auditing is similar, but there are some differences.
|Factor||Commercial Energy Audit||Industrial Energy Audit|
|Focus||Focuses on energy efficiency in buildings used for business purposes, such as office buildings, retail spaces, restaurants, and apartment buildings.||Focuses on energy efficiency in industrial facilities such as manufacturing plants, warehouses, and power plants.|
|Audit Goals||To reduce energy consumption and cost, improve comfort and indoor air quality, and increase overall building efficiency.||To reduce energy consumption and cost, improve process efficiency, and increase overall facility efficiency.|
|Key Systems Inspected||HVAC, lighting, electrical, and energy-consuming equipment, and appliances||Electrical, HVAC, process systems, and energy-consuming equipment and appliances|
|Data Collection||Energy bills analysis, on-site inspections, equipment monitoring, and energy modeling/simulation.||Energy bills analysis, on-site inspections, process monitoring, and, potentially, if industry-specific tools exist, energy modeling/simulation.|
|Recommendations||To improve building energy efficiencies, such as upgrading HVAC, lighting, and equipment||To improve facility energy efficiencies, such as upgrading electrical systems, process efficiency, and equipment|
|Training Requirements||Commercial energy auditor training is recommended for building owners, managers, and energy professionals||Industrial energy auditor training is recommended for facility owners and energy professionals|
To understand more about saving more energy in commercial and industrial settings, be sure to check out the Energy Savings Strategies and Tips.
ERNEST ORLANDO LAWRENCE BERKELEY NATIONAL LABORATORY also has some guidelines available for conducting an energy audit in industrial facilities.
The Difference Between Commercial and Industrial Energy Auditor Training
Commercial and industrial energy auditor training differ in the focus of the training program.
|Type of Energy Auditor Training||Commercial Energy Auditor Training||Industrial Energy Auditor Training|
|Focus||Energy efficiency in commercial buildings, such as office buildings, shopping centers, and hotels.||Energy efficiency in industrial facilities, such as manufacturing plants, refineries, and power generation facilities.|
|Topics Covered||Building systems, HVAC, lighting, electrical systems, and controls. |
Fundamentals of Energy Efficient HVAC
Energy Efficient Lighting
|Industrial processes, energy-intensive equipment, boilers, motors, and energy management systems. |
Introduction to Energy Efficiency in Industrial Systems
|Advantages||Develops skills to identify energy-saving opportunities in commercial buildings.|
Prepares individuals to perform energy audits in accordance with industry standards.
Enhances understanding of building systems and energy management techniques.
|Provides in-depth knowledge of industrial processes and energy-intensive equipment.|
Develops skills to perform energy audits in large-scale industrial facilities.
Enhances understanding of energy management systems and control techniques specific to industrial facilities.
Energy audit training offers numerous benefits, regardless of whether you focus on commercial or industrial buildings. With these skills and knowledge, you can play a crucial role in promoting energy efficiency and sustainability.
In addition to the skills listed above, both types of auditors can benefit from training in the Process of Undertaking an Energy Audit, Tools for Energy Auditors, and Energy Fundamentals for Energy Auditors.
Enhancing the Skills and Knowledge through Energy Auditor Certification
Energy auditor certification programs are designed to provide energy auditors with the skills and knowledge they need to identify and reduce energy waste.
These programs offer hands-on training and practical experience, allowing individuals to apply their knowledge in real-world situations.
With certification, individuals can demonstrate their expertise and commitment to promoting energy efficiency and sustainability.
Becoming a Certified Commercial Energy Auditor
Listed below are some steps you can take to achieve your goal of becoming a certified commercial energy auditor:
- Research different certifying organizations: Start by researching the different certifying organizations offering energy auditor certification. Look at the eligibility criteria, exam format, and course requirements to determine which program is right for you.
The Building Performance Institute (BPI) and the Home Energy Professional Association (HEPA) are two of some of the certifying organizations in the industry, there is also the Association of Energy Engineers and, of course, the Sustainability Education Academy.
- Gain experience: Most certifying organizations require applicants to have a certain amount of relevant work experience before becoming certified. Consider working in the energy efficiency or sustainability field or volunteering for energy audits to gain hands-on experience.
- Study for the exam: Once you’ve decided on a certifying organization, start preparing for the certification exam by studying the material covered. Many organizations provide study materials, such as textbooks, training courses, and practice exams.
- Pass the certification exam: After studying and preparing, take the certification exam. The format of the exam may vary, but it generally covers topics such as building science, energy efficiency, and sustainability practices.
- Maintain certification: To maintain your certification, you may be required to complete continuing education credits or re-certify after a certain number of years. Stay current on industry developments and best practices to remain a knowledgeable and effective energy auditor.
This may also include attending conferences or participating in other professional development activities and connecting with other energy auditors.
- Consider pursuing the Investment Grade Energy Auditor (IGEA) certification: The IGEA certification from the Sustainability Education Academy is an advanced level of energy auditor certification that focuses on identifying energy conservation measures and evaluating their economic viability. It provides a deeper understanding of energy audits and can be a valuable addition to your credentials as a certified commercial energy auditor.
And if you’re looking to maintain energy auditor certification, here at SUSTEMY, we also offer continuing education credits recognized by several institutions.
You could also check with other continuing education providers for energy auditors to ensure you are aware of all your options.
As requirements can differ from organization to organization and country to country, make sure you verify that continuing education credits earned will be accepted by your profession’s certifying body.
The Training and Certification Process
The training and certification process for becoming a certified commercial energy auditor typically includes a combination of classroom training and on-the-job training.
The classroom training typically includes courses in building design, energy efficiency, and energy conservation.
The on-the-job training typically includes hands-on experience in assessing the energy efficiency of commercial buildings and facilities.
Essential Qualifications for a Career in Energy Auditing
To pursue a career in energy auditing, there are certain essential qualifications that you should have:
- Education: A background in engineering, architecture, or a related field is usually preferred, although some auditors may have degrees in environmental science or sustainability.
- Technical skills: Energy auditors need to have a good understanding of building systems, such as HVAC, electrical, and plumbing systems, as well as knowledge of energy-saving technologies.
- Analytical skills: Energy auditors must be able to collect and analyze data, interpret results, and make recommendations based on their findings.
- Communication skills: Energy auditors need to be able to effectively communicate their findings and recommendations to clients, both in writing and in person.
- Attention to detail: Energy auditors need to pay close attention to details to ensure accuracy in their assessments and recommendations.
The Impact of Energy Auditors on the Environment and Economy
As an expert in energy auditing, you may already know the significance of energy audits and the role they play in improving the environment and economy.
But what exactly an energy auditor does? Simply put, they help reduce energy waste.
Environment: The impact of energy audits on the environment is significant. By reducing energy waste, energy audits help to minimize the amount of greenhouse gas emissions that are produced using energy. This, in turn, helps to combat climate change and protect the environment for future generations.
The reduction in energy use also conserves natural resources, including oil, coal, and natural gas, that would otherwise be depleted if energy waste was not reduced.
Economy: In addition to the environmental benefits, energy audits also have a positive impact on the economy. By identifying areas of energy inefficiency and making recommendations for upgrades and improvements, energy audits can lead to cost savings for building owners and facility managers.
These cost savings can be significant and, over time, can add up to millions of dollars in savings for a single facility.
Local Economy: But that’s not all. Energy savings realized through energy audits may also contribute to local economic development. Energy audit savings, for example, can be reinvested back into the local economy, creating jobs and supporting businesses.
Additionally, the reduced demand for energy can lead to lower energy prices, which can benefit consumers and businesses alike.
Real-Life Examples of What Does an Energy Auditor Do
The video Residential Energy Audits by Powered Up Baraboo showcases a demonstration of a typical home energy audit.
The energy auditor first assesses the home’s energy usage, checks the insulation, windows, doors, heating and cooling systems, and appliances, and identifies areas where energy is being wasted.
The document from Building Energy Score provides a comprehensive overview of a commercial building energy audit on site.
The report is based on data collected during an on-site energy audit and is designed to provide building owners and operators with actionable information to help them reduce their energy consumption and costs. Which also includes detailed information on the building’s energy consumption, including its heating, cooling, lighting, and other systems.
The Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) provides information on a research project aimed at improving the efficiency of power plants through the development and application of advanced control systems.
The study focuses on developing and testing advanced combustion techniques that reduce emissions of pollutants such as sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides. The project also evaluates the feasibility of using coal-water slurry as a fuel in order to improve the efficiency of a power plant and reduce the environmental impact of coal combustion.
The Department of Real Estate Services (DRES) conducts energy audits on District government facilities with the aim of reducing energy consumption and saving taxpayer dollars.
DRES is able to make important investments in energy efficiency that not only help the environment but also provide long-term savings for the district government.
Center of Expertise provides a comprehensive guide for assessing the energy efficiency of data centers. The document outlines a methodology for measuring and analyzing various aspects of data center performance, including server utilization, cooling system efficiency, and electrical power usage effectiveness (PUE).
The guide also provides recommendations for reducing energy consumption and increasing efficiency in data centers, including the use of virtualization and cloud computing technologies, as well as best practices for managing and maintaining data center infrastructure.
If you’re passionate about making a positive difference and saving companies money on energy costs, then energy auditing could be the ideal career path for you. The 2023 Energy Auditor Statistics highlight how in-demand and valuable this profession is becoming.
The role of energy auditors is becoming increasingly important as energy efficiency and cost reduction become more critical.
Don’t wait. Seize the opportunity to shape your future and explore the benefits of energy auditing today! Let SUSTEMY be your guide on this exciting journey and discover the power of making a difference in the energy sector.
So what does an energy auditor do? Energy auditing is a crucial and in-demand profession in today’s world, where energy conservation and sustainability are at the top of everyone’s minds.
The role of an energy auditor is extensive and includes tasks such as assessing energy use, identifying energy conservation opportunities, conducting cost-benefit analysis, providing energy education, monitoring energy usage, and staying up-to-date with industry standards.
They use specialized tools and techniques to measure energy consumption and detect areas for savings. The energy auditor’s main objective is to assist building owners and managers in saving energy and reducing costs while improving the comfort and health of building occupants.
Energy auditing can be divided into two main categories: commercial and industrial. Commercial energy auditing focuses on energy efficiency in business buildings such as office buildings and retail spaces, while industrial energy auditing focuses on energy efficiency in industrial facilities such as factories and power plants.
The training for commercial and industrial energy auditing also differs.
The training you receive as an energy auditor provides numerous benefits, including an understanding of energy-efficient technologies and practices, the ability to identify and recommend energy-saving measures, knowledge of building codes and regulations, improved energy efficiency, and reduced energy costs.
However, it’s important to note that requirements for becoming an energy auditor may vary depending on the country or region. It is advisable to check with local organizations to find out what is required in your area.
The most significant benefit of working as an energy auditor is the opportunity to make a real impact on the environment. The auditor’s work helps to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, contributing to a more sustainable future for all.
Being an energy auditor is a challenging and rewarding career path.
The demand for this profession is growing, providing a wealth of job opportunities for those with the skills and qualifications to become an energy auditor.
If you have a passion for energy conservation and sustainability, and a background in engineering, architecture, or a related field, then energy auditing may be the perfect career for you.
With the growing demand for energy auditors, a career in energy auditing offers a rewarding opportunity for environmental improvement and helps organizations save money on energy costs. If you want to be part of that, please consider our energy auditor training.