Why an energy audit is good for your business
20th July 2022
An energy audit is essential to understand the energy consumption for a site you own. Running one can benefit your company in many ways:
- Reduce energy costs at each site you own and operate, allowing you to invest the savings into other areas of your business.
- Reduces dependency on non-renewable energy sources from the grid
- Reduces your emissions, helping your ESG (environmental, social and governance) goals
- Identifies inefficiencies in your energy usage, allowing for more efficient operations
To carry out a thorough audit, an energy partner is always the most advantageous if looking for significant benefits. But a basic energy audit though can reveal some quick wins and isn’t as daunting as it may seem. Here are some suggestions on how you can conduct your own energy efficiency assessment in your workspace.
Step 1: Look for energy spikes
Do you have a smart meter installed or provide regular meter readings to your supplier? If so, start with your energy bill. Do you see any times of the day, months or seasons that see a spike in your energy consumption? Those can be good indicators of where you to begin.
For example, if you see a spike in the summer, you might want to check out your cooling system. One of our customers here at Opus Energy, a small retail shop in Northamptonshire, noticed a spike at 6am when the store lighting turned on. By adjusting the auto-on start time to be a bit later – when the lights were needed - they were able to reduce their consumption.
Step 2: Identify bad behaviour
Spot-check your workplace throughout the day. Are staff members leaving the lights on in empty rooms and cupboards? Is the air conditioning on in a room with the windows open? Is the dishwasher running while only half full? These things may seem trivial, but when added up, the wasted money might surprise you. Improve this behaviour by putting up reminder signs and calling it to your staff’s attention.
Step 3: Check your appliances
If an appliance works like it’s supposed to, justifying investing in a new one can be challenging… until you account for the energy savings you’ll see from more efficient equipment. For example, if your standard kitchen appliances are more than 10 years old, you should consider upgrading to a newer model.
As you conduct your audit, note down the brand, model number and, if possible, purchase date for your appliances. A quick check on the internet or a conversation with a trained specialist should help you understand which ones would be advantageous to replace.
Step 4: Look at your lighting
Lighting retrofits are one of the most common energy efficiency projects because they are typically low cost and have quick paybacks. Take a look at the lighting fixtures in your building. Are there any spaces that are over lit where you could switch to a lower wattage bulb? Are you using the most energy efficient fixtures and lights available?
Step 5: Inspect your heating and cooling system
Checking filters, resealing ducts and making sure that the proper insulation is still in place should be part of your energy audit. Check your service logs and manufacturer’ suggestions to ensure that any heating and cooling system equipment is being properly maintained. Over time, these small inefficiencies can add up to extra charges on your energy bill.
Step 6: Call in a professional
Once you’ve completed the basic energy audit and made changes where possible, the next step is to call in a professional. A professional auditor will inspect your entire building and provide you with a report showing your opportunities for savings, the projected costs for any projects and expected paybacks.
With this information in hand, you’ll be in a good position to determine which next step is right for your business. If you are unsure where to find a professional auditor, why not start with your county council?
Want to maximise your savings?
We’re not just your energy provider, we’re your energy partner. At Opus Energy, we can help to devise a more comprehensive energy audit that will help you to increase the sustainability of your business whilst driving down costs.Contact us
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