A virtual energy audit is a perfect way to discover more about your building’s energy use and find out opportunities to lower your operating cost.
So Why Conduct a Virtual Energy Audit Now?
With 42 states mandating a stay at home order, it’s safe to say many offices are currently empty or have been empty over the past month. But, even though your employees may not be in the office, your company is probably still incurring steep operating costs. A virtual energy audit can lower these costs. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, you can save between 5-30% on your annual utility bills by implementing energy-efficient recommendations that a virtual energy audit can highlight. Also, a virtual energy audit can reveal areas of your facility that can increase the comfort and safety of your office building, making it a welcoming place for your employees to return to.
What Is a Virtual Energy Audit?
At EnergyLink, we don’t just offer an energy solution without thoroughly understanding your building. We use an energy audit as an opportunity for our certified engineers to familiarize themselves with a facility’s current energy systems, their utility bills, and their desired outcome. A virtual energy audit is just that – an energy audit completed virtually. A typical energy audit would be done 80% in-person and 20% on-site with the client. But in order to prioritize the health and safety of our clients and our employees, we have shifted our service to be primarily virtual. Our current energy audit has shifted to be 80% online and 20% on-site to adapt to today’s circumstances. Although this type of virtual energy audit may not include as much in-person time, we can assure our clients that the process is still just as effective.
How Is a Virtual Energy Audit Conducted?
The main purpose of a virtual energy audit is to identify areas to improve a building’s operations and lower their energy costs. In order to do this, a 3 step process takes place.
1. 30 Minute Phone Call
A member of the EnergyLink team will set up a time to speak with the facility manager. During that conversation, our specialized team will ask for three main pieces of information:
- utility history
- updated building plans
- mechanical inventory list
If your company doesn’t have one of these three components, an audit can still be completed. At EnergyLink, we have performed over a thousand audits and know the ins and outs of retrieving vital information. For example, if your facility manager doesn’t have a mechanical inventory list, then we may ask for a mechanical contract to receive the same information. But, if you a facility doesn’t have updated building plans, this is where we would need to go one step further to find the information.
2. Potential In-Person Audit
The point of the in-person audit is to obtain any last bits of information that is needed and allow time for us to meet our clients and answer questions or concerns in-person. In addition to meeting the client, normally we would send one of our trained auditors to the site to complete a short task to secure the final missing pieces of information. This could be counting the number of lights in a facility if they weren’t in the building plan or this could also be going on the roof of a facility to check the model of HVAC systems. But, with current health concerns, it may not always be possible or safe to do so in all locations. This is where a facility manager would most likely perform the one-hour task of collecting the last pieces of data.
3. A Proposal is Sent
After we receive all of the necessary information, our team will have a proposal back to you within 3 weeks. A proposal will contain these components:
- Facility’s Energy History
- Energy Conservation Measures (ECMs)
- Estimated Energy Savings
- 2-3 Financial Models Based on Funding Options
At EnergyLink, we are committed to helping our clients find energy-saving solutions even in this challenging time. For more information on how to schedule a virtual audit for your facility, contact us!