Energy Audits

Balance Engineering offers three levels of energy audits for commercial, industrial, and agricultural facilities. The three levels of audits are consistent with the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), and the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE).

A Level One audit is basically a walk-through audit. The Level One audit includes a review of recent energy use and demand records. It is nice to have two or three years worth of electric and fuel consumption history by month. This review can identify problems in facility equipment operation, and may reveal problems in utility billing and in the rate class of the client. the consumption history is also used to calculate the Energy Use Index of the facility, a number that is used to compare the facility with similar facilities. this comparison is made to help judge if a facility is below average, average, or above average in energy use for the building type. After this review is completed, the facility is literally “walked through”, with the facility owner or building operator, looking for “obvious or major” energy waste or inefficiency in equipment, controls, or processes. the idea behind a Level One audit is to find major opportunities for energy savings with a minimum effort and associated costs “low hanging fruit”. The Level One audit may serve as a basis for further study. Level One audit reporting contains a brief description of findings specific to the facility, a description of low cost and no cost opportunities, a prioritization of capital investments, and rough cost estimates may be included in the report as well.

The Level Two audit includes all of the elements of a level one audit, with additional economic analysis of the energy saving opportunities. This Life Cycle Cost analysis will give the building owner a good picture of the economics of implementing each individual energy saving opportunity. Energy savings, and operation and maintenance cost impacts of each measure are included in the Life Cycle Cost analysis.

A Level Three audit includes computer simulation modeling of the existing building energy use including all end uses. After this “base case” model is developed, applicable energy conservation opportunities are then applied to the computer simulation. The main advantage of the level Three audit is that the computer simulation not only calculates the energy savings from the individual conservation opportunities, but it also calculates the interaction between the different potential measures to be taken. One example of such an interaction is this: A potential lighting retrofit project may provide a significant amount of electric energy savings to a building. However, because the lighting contributes heat to the building, the fuel use of the building will increase as a result of the lighting retrofit, and so will offset some of the lighting energy savings. Also, because of the decreased lighting load, the cooling load of the building will decrease, so there would be some savings in air conditioning costs. These kinds of interactions and others are quantified in the Level Three audit. Comprehensive reporting of all energy saving opportunities and a rigorous economic analysis is presented in whatever format the client desires.

Most audits performed are the Level Two audits. The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) requires a Level Two audit for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). EQIP provides cost share of energy audits and for implementation of energy saving measures for agricultural producers. For more details contact us, and check out the EQIP page Here: (This will open the EQIP page in a new tab)

If you want more information about Agricultural energy audits, you can read more Here: (This will take you to the Agricultural Energy audits page, and you can use the Back button to get back here).

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