How To Do Your Own Commercial Energy Audit In 8 Stages [Part 3]

Posted by Jimmy Hovey on Thu, Jan 19, 2012 @ 07:01 AM

Stages 5-7: Do-It-Yourself Commercial Energy Audit For Lighting:

Here is where the rubber hits the road; time to do the math.  Now don't go and stop reading this article just because there is math involved.  Remember I mentioned Stage 8 (tomorrow's post..).  Stage 8 is the easiest and least time consuming...you will see. 

In Part 1 and Part 2, You have learned that you can do this yourself, why you should consider energy efficiency, setting energy efficiency goals, and gathered up all the data you need. 

Now the numbers. This is actually the fun part....sort of like pulling the lever on a slot machine...what's going to come up...jackpot or does it just want more money?

Stage 5-Time To Do The Math...Calculate TheDo-it-yourself-commercial-energy-audit-calculations-8-stages Data

This is where you get into the math.  While the calculations for energy efficiency are basic, you really need a spreadsheet to keep track of all the individual items you need for making your comparisons (useful in the next stage). 

This is a list of what you are going to need to have to do your calculations:

  • Defined areas
  • Quantity of existing
  • Known wattage of existing
  • Total wattage of existing
  • Type of fixture
  • Length of building
  • Width of building
  • Quantity of new fixtures
  • Wattage of proposed fixtures
  • Total wattage of new
  • Old total kwh
  • New total kwh
  • Proposed kwh reduction
  • Total system wattage
  • Difference between old kwh and new kwh

Not sure where to find it?  That's all good stuff we talk about here and put into our system to help you do your own energy audit.


Estimated Time: 10 Hours

Stage 6-Do A Complete Financial Analysis...(Don't let the term "Financial" scare you off..)

Business owners are used to running the other way when you talk about Finance.  This is one area that has set our company apart from others. 

We transform your information so it is easy to understand from a financial standpoint.  Typically contractors can tell you how much it will cost and will get it installed.  We can do that too, but we show you WHY you should do it.  No hype, no sales pitch.  We have always presented that way in front of customers.  The data speaks for itself.   We consult you...help you make a good business decision from an objective point of view. 

Data driven analysis...this is factal information...it really comes down to this is what you have, this is how much it costs to operate and here is what you should have and this is how much it costs to operate. 

These are the areas we cover in our financial analysis:

  • Annual energy savings
  • Energy and Policy Act of 2005
  • Utility cash incentives
  • Cost to upgrade the system
  • Applicable financing options
  • Project payment terms
  • Return on Investment (ROI)
  • Total all costs
  • Total all cost after incentive
  • Total all cost no incentive
  • Simple payback after incentive
  • Simple payback no incentive

We have consulted many companies and shown them through financial analysis that the project wasn't a good business decision or an area of the project didn't make sense.  When your considering an investment, you need to have all your facts. 


Estimated Time: 15 Hours

Stage 7-Make A Business Decision....It Makes Sense or..It Doesn't

Everything you do up to now leads up to the moment of decision; What are you going to do? 

If you follow our framework, you will have answered every question related to your lighting.  The project either makes sense or it doesn't.  But, you could have the same thing happen if you spend $10,000 to do it.  The only difference is you have $10,000 to actually make the improvements. 

This is where you go back to the first step and determine what makes the most sense in relation to the goal you set forth.  This doesn't mean you can't establish a new goal now because you likely had no idea that your old lighting system was costing you so much.  You will likely be surprised at the savings. 

What will make sense for you?

  • Overhead reduction
  • Employee productivity
  • Maintenance savings
  • "Green" Marketability
  • Carbon footprint

Estimated Time: 5 Hours  

Want To Learn More?

We will be posting articles related to completing your own commercial energy audit for the next 30-60 days.  Will you remember to come back?  Not likely....unless I am really that good...but since your so busy, we put together a FREE E-Course that arrives in your inbox everyday. 

We breakdown the 60+ items you will need to know to do your own energy audit.  It will take you less than 2-3 minutes per day to read and we put the estimated time to complete the task talked about in the email for the day. 

Sound interesting? 

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But....If Your Not Ready For That...Check Out....

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So What Do You Think?

Is this something you think you can do? 

Have you done some calculations already?

Is there anything you would add to our process?

Don't forget to check out the 8th Stage tomorrow....It really is the easiest of them all!

Topics: energy audit training, commercial energy audit, electrical consulting