Do You Know What an Energy Audit is?
An energy audit is used to review the way your facility consumes energy and how energy companies bill you for energy use. With this in mind, let’s look at a typical day in the life of a commercial building: work typically starts at around 8 or 9 am. Then, depending on which controls regulate your building (like, for example, a thermostat), your heating or air conditioning may kick on a little early to set the conditions for the day.
Imagine a warm, sunny day: the air kicks on at 7 am; employees start arriving at 8 am. Lights, desks, and operations are being turned on, the coffee pot is brewing, and birds are chirping. This is the beginning of your building’s energy consumption, which leads to what is called “Peak Demand.” As the day goes on, it gets hotter out, which increases the demand on your AC required to keep the building’s climate comfortable. By mid-afternoon, you are at full energy use; this is when and how the utility providers find the maximum amount of demand charge to bill you. Have you ever heard the term “the meter is spinning”? That’s what it means!
So, what can you do to stop the spinning meter? How can you reduce your peak demand and beat the system? You install a demand management system with renewable energy.
So, What is Demand Management with Renewable Energy?
Renewable energy, also called alternative energy, is generally thought of as an alternative to conventional energy, which is usually supplied by the combustion of fossil fuels, such as oil, coal or natural gas. The prime source of renewable energy is solar radiation, i.e. sunlight. Demand management is a form of building controls that automates the sequence of energy consuming devices (i.e, HVAC units) to become more efficient in how they consume energy. When paired with renewable energy systems like solar panels, demand management can reduce demand charges on your utility bill by up to 50%.
EnergyLink implements demand management systems with renewable energy to integrate with systems in your facility to minimize these demand spikes. Each system is customized to meet the facility’s needs, which is based on historical energy usage and peak demand data.
So, What is an Energy Audit?
It all starts with your utility bills. Essentially, utility bills are the window into your building’s operations; once we understand how your building consumes energy, we can begin to understand what processes can reduce your building’s consumption. This starts the “audit” stage. From there, we do some fancy engineering and present our findings. Typically, businesses can see anywhere from 30-50% reduction in energy consumption, which means major savings for you!