How To Do Your Own Commercial Energy Audit In 8 Stages [Part 2]

Posted by Jimmy Hovey on Wed, Jan 18, 2012 @ 10:01 AM

Stages 1-4: Do-It-Yourself Commercial Energy Audit For Lighting:

Many folks call us up for information on how to Do-it-yourself-commercial-energy-audit-8-stagesdo their project or do the calculations needed for making a decision regarding energy efficiency.

We thought, "Hey, maybe there are a lot of other people out there who want to do their own energy audit". 

It took a little work, but we organized the process into 8 stages...(well..really 7....but I think you will want to seriously consider stage 8..I guess we will see).

We have developed the entire program into a system you can follow and complete on your own...or with some help.  You have to decide what is best for you. 

(Keep in mind that some utilities require that they do the calculations...makes sense since they are paying you an incentive)

I am sure we will upset some engineers or service companies who are going to say "there's no way a building owner could do their own commercial energy audit". 

We think they are wrong...but you will have to let us know what you think.  It's just not that complicated...just keep it simple.

Anyhow, each of the stages here will discuss the steps that are needed and the information you will have to collect along the way. 

It's not a perfect solution, and maybe in the end you will decide to leave it up to the professionals.  Even if you do decide to go there....one thing is for sure...you will be much better educated than the typical business owner. 

Afterall, don't you want to know WHAT you are paying for?

You will have the tools and knowledge (oh ya...check out our Free E-Course) you need to analyze your facility lighting without spending all the money for a formal engineering audit of your facility.

If you follow all the stages, you will complete your own commercial energy audit.  You will be able to see if energy efficiency really makes sense for your company. 

Energy Efficient improvements to your facility is one of the best investments you could ever make. (See Part 1 if this isn't making any sense!)

Let's take a look at the stages:

Stage 1-Understand The Benefits Of Energy Efficient Lighting

There are a lot of benefits to pursuing an energy efficient strategy for your facility.  It is up to you to decide if it is right for your Company.  Many people still think that energy efficiency is a scam...really, it's not. 

It might make sense for you to pursue it or it might not.  Take a look at this list of benefits to upgrading your building:

  • Reduction in annual energy consumption
  • Utilities have LOTS of cash to give you incentives to upgrade
  • Tax deductions....Energy Policy Act of 2005
  • Reduced maintenance costs
  • Increased productivity
  • Energy costs are on the rise....do you really have a choice?

Reduced costs, tax deductions, increased productivity...sounds like business owner heaven!

Estimated Time: 2 Hours

Stage 2-Establish Energy Efficiency Goal

What do you want to accomplish with a commercial energy audit?  People have different reasons for considering an energy efficient upgrade.  Most of the time it centers around costs, but it depends on what you are looking for:

  • Cost savings
  • Better lighting
  • Take advantage of utility incentives
  • Tax deductions
  • Or just curious....

It is important to set your goal upfront, so that you have a measurable benchmark when you get to making a business decision.

Estimated Time: 3 Hours

Stage 3-Identify Existing Lighting Fixtures

You have to figure out what you have before you can go on too far.  When doing a financial analysis for energy efficiency, you have to know what you have.  This is important for many reasons. 

  • You want to make sure your analysis is accurate, you will be making a major business decision with this data
  • The amount of incentives is usually determined by comparing to existing infrastructure.

Not sure what you have?  We can help you with that.

Estimated Time: 10 Hours

Stage 4-Focus On What Is Important

There is a lot of jargon out there and high pressure salesman who are pushing product.  Many will put brochures in front of you with lots of fancy terms that you will likely not understand.  There are some you need to know. Here are some important terms:

  • Types of energy efficient improvements
  • Types of fixtures and suitable replacements
  • Understand the role of the ballast
  • Types of lighting
  • Lighting levels
  • Lumen maintenance
  • Lamp mortality
  • Color temperature
  • Fixture life

Dial in to our Free E-course as we walk through each step the "technical" side of energy efficiency.  You will gain an understanding of what you really need to know about energy efficient terminology.

Estimated Time: 5 Hours

Want To Learn More?

Check out our 3 part of the series tomorrow focused on Stages 1-7.  If you want to get a notice when the next blog is posted, just put your email over to the right under "subscribe". 

Better yet, what about a complete E-Course that covers all 8 Stages of How To Do Your Own Commercial Energy Audit? Just click the button below:

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Or.....Download Our Free E-book: Business Owners Guide To Energy Efficiency

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What Do You Think?

Do you think you can do your own energy audit? (...I am sure I will be hearing from some engineers on this one...)

How long do you think it would take you to do Stages 1-4?

Let me know in the comments section below.


Topics: commercial energy audit, electrical consulting