Many organisations are already in the habit of undertaking energy audits to highlight where energy and water efficiencies can be made, save on utility costs, and reduce carbon emissions. Unfortunately, the sad reality of many energy audits and surveys (especially ones that are completed for compliance with ESOS), is that once they are completed, the report is often tucked away into a ‘virtual’ drawer, never to be seen again.
But what if there was another use for that forgotten energy audit? Did you know that it could actually be a really useful business tool to help get you started on your net zero journey?
To help you harness that data in a practical way, our Energy Services Analyst, Rhiannon Farquhar, explains what makes energy audits so essential to carbon management and how they can be used to get your business on the path to net zero.
So, what is an energy audit?
To put it simply, an energy audit is an assessment of the energy needs and efficiency of a building (or process), which will help you understand your consumption, anomalies and where savings can be made.
An auditor will inspect equipment, examine historical energy data from, for example, utility bills and conduct on-site measurements. Your organisation can obtain important information regarding your energy usage, which can then be used to identify and correct any energy inefficiencies to cut costs.
The auditor will provide you with a complete energy efficiency assessment along with recommendations on how to reduce your energy usage in ways that will work best for your building type or process and for the ways in which your organisation operates.
How can an energy audit help inform your net zero strategy?
Even though they may have the best intentions, not every organisation may feel ready to embark on a net zero journey just yet. That could be due to cost, resource, or perhaps there are other big infrastructure projects that need to be completed first. Whatever the reason, you don’t actually need to delay net zero planning at all, especially if you have recently had (within the last 1-2 years) an energy audit done.
As an energy audit is tailored to your organisation, it will identify short and long-term solutions by highlighting all the ways in which you may be wasting energy. This data is golden for net zero strategy planning.
To begin with, energy audit recommendation reports can be really useful to help you prioritise which areas of consumption to address first. To put your organisation on a path to net zero, you really want to tackle the areas where you can see anomalies in your data and areas of high energy use as these can easily derail your plans.
That can help you then prioritise the implementation of energy saving projects, improve processes and roll out energy efficiency training to employees.
For example, a structural analysis focusing primarily on your building’s infrastructure can identify upgrades within areas such as lighting systems, heating systems and external building materials to reduce and utilise efficient energy consumption and reduce carbon emissions. Further, an energy audit could also assess where renewable energy technologies could be most beneficially utilised.
Getting started with net zero does not have to be complicated. Utilising data that your organisation most-likely already has from an energy audit to inform carbon emission reductions will get you on your way in no time. Equally, if you ever did decide to seek external help on a net zero strategy, an energy audit report would be an indispensable tool to have to hand.
You can read more about how our Energy Consultants like Rhiannon Farquhar, can help implement a net zero strategy with an energy audit and survey. To find out more about how we could help, get in touch today.