Now more than ever, energy efficiency is the name of the game. For decades, ECS has been implementing smart energy solutions through our in-house technical staff and of our local Australian and American designed products (Open General Building Automation Products and Spinwave Wireless Systems).
The demand for more energy-efficient operations is growing. We know that businesses require customized energy solutions that meet the specific needs, drivers, and goals of various stakeholders. Our capabilities run deep.
ECS is equipped to handle everything from retro/re-commissioning to NABERS and LEED-certification support to photovoltaics, fuel cells, wind solutions, and more. ECS prepares a summary of suggested implementation strategies designed to reduce annual utility consumption and operating expenses. We also work to prioritize each of the suggested implementation strategies in order to optimize the performance and financial results of the facility operations.
Commercial Energy Audits
Why Have a Building Energy Audit Performed?
There are several reasons having an energy audit done is the right decision for most building owners.
To Reduce Your Operation Expenses, Increase Your Profit
In these days of uncertainty, it is important to keep operating expenses to a minimum. One difference between companies that weather these difficult times and those which do not survive, will be that the survivors will have reduced their unnecessary expenditures before it is too late.
Unnecessary costs include costs for energy you don’t need to use. In the past many companies have just considered utilities as “a cost of doing business.” By running an inefficient building, you are overpaying your utility for energy. It just doesn’t make any sense.
A good building energy audit will point the way to reduce your energy costs by 10% to 40%. For large organizations, this can be substantial, and could mean the difference between staying afloat and going under.
To Determine Which Are the Best Building Energy Efficiency Measures
There are so many vendors peddling their energy efficient devices which are supposed to save energy–most of them do, but some don’t. Just because a device saves energy does not mean it is a good investment. And even if it is a good investment, there may be better energy efficiency investments available.
For example triple-pane windows that you hear advertised on the radio usually save energy, but for some buildings, they will actually result in an increase in energy usage. It is usually a better investment to replace your incandescent light bulbs with CFLs (compact fluorescent lights) OR LED lights than it is to change out your windows.
So how do you determine what are the best energy conservation measures for your building? That is what an energy audit is for.
To Increase the Value of Your Building
We understand the argument that if your tenants are paying the utility bills, then there is no reason to invest money in making your building energy efficient. After all, you won’t be reaping any energy savings.
Keep in mind that increasing the energy efficiency of your building will increase it’s value. If you have a “green” building, your tenants will be happy to pay higher rents to occupy your building.
On average for every dollar spent in energy efficiency improvements, appraised building value increases several times.
What is a Commercial Energy Audit?
The term energy audit appears to refer to two distinct things: An energy audit is the process of having a professional energy auditor assess your building for energy savings opportunities. The term energy audit also is used to refer to the result of the energy assessment process, the energy audit report. We will try to keep these terms separate by referring to the report as an “energy audit report.”
An energy audit report is a carefully thought out plan, which, if followed, will lead you to reduced energy costs. Every building is different, and each contains different opportunities which can reduce energy usage. This is why every different building requires its own unique energy audit.
During the energy audit, an energy auditor will visit your site and interview your facility manager, inspect your lighting, air conditioning, heating and ventilation equipment, controls, refrigeration, air compressors, water consuming equipment, and anything else that is using energy. Depending on the type of the audit, the auditor may take measurements of temperatures, pressures, light levels, power draw, and other things.
An energy audit report typically contains a description of the building’s existing energy consuming equipment, an energy balance and most importantly, a presentation of feasible energy conservation measures (ECMs). Each of these measures are developed so that the report includes :
a description of the existing conditions
a description of the proposed ECM
expected annual savings associated with the ECM
expected cost to implement the ECM
simple payback and/or other financial measures, such as return on investment or life cycle savings
Some of the ECMs identified in the audit will take decades to pay for themselves, while others will start paying for themselves within months. Once you have the audit in hand, you can make good decisions as to where to invest your energy efficiency money.
Some of the sections of an ASHRAE Level 2 energy audit are presented below:
Our energy services capabilities include:
Assisting our customers in energy saving initiatives
Operation of energy systems and energy producing equipment for clients
Maintenance and construction of clients’ energy systems and equipment
Design of energy systems and equipment
Water System Conservation and Retrofit
Mechanical System Retrofits
Electrical Upgrades & Electrical Maintenance Service
Occupied Space Retrofits
Predictive & Preventive Maintenance Programs
Building Envelope Services
Building Automation System Implementation
Critical Equipment Monitoring
Renewable Energy System Installations
Emergency Backup Generators
Green Building Council of Australia
Launched in 2002, the GBCA is a national, not-for-profit organisation that is committed to developing a sustainable property industry for
Australia by encouraging the adoption of green building practices. It is uniquely supported by both industry and governments across the country.
Mission The Green Building Council’s mission is to develop a sustainable property industry for Australia and drive the adoption of green building practices through market-based solutions.
Objectives Its key objectives are to drive the transition of the Australian property industry towards sustainability by
promoting green building programs, technologies, design practices and operations as well as the integration of green building initiatives into mainstream design, construction and operation of buildings.
NABERS Accredited Assessments
NABERS (the National Australian Built Environment Rating System) is a performance-based rating system for existing buildings. NABERS rates a commercial office, hotel or residential building on the basis of its measured operational impacts on the environment.
The buildings we live and work in have a measurable impact on our environment.
- Energy is used to provide lighting, heating, cooling and ventilation.
- Water is used for washing, drinking, for toilets and air conditioning.
- Waste is generated.
- Occupants are affected by the quality of the air in buildings.
- Local biodiversity is affected by the construction and tenancy of buildings.
- Natural storm water flows are redirected and often concentrated.
- Toxic materials may be present in buildings.
- People travel to and from buildings, often in greenhouse gas-emitting vehicles.
Building owners, managers or occupants can manage and reduce these environmental impacts.
NABERS is designed to provide you with a simple indication of how well you are managing these environmental impacts compared with your peers and neighbours.
ECS are able to recommend or engage NABERS Accredited Assessors to independently assess and rate a buildings performance. Based on this rating we can offer improvements strategies and solutions to increase this rating on behalf of our client.