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Evaluation of energy efficiency

Energy auditing initially became popular in response to energy crisis of 1973. However, as our understanding of the human impact on global warming and climate change increases, interest in such audits has correspondingly increased, as it helps us improve our living environment to be as energy efficient as possible.

Energy efficiency seems like an obvious goal. But when we look at the many ways in which energy is part of our processes, and consider the costs versus benefits of getting more value from every euro spent on energy, we realize how complex the pursuit of energy efficiency becomes.

SO, WHAT IS AN ENERGY AUDIT?

Energy audit — is the survey, study and analysis of energy flows in a residential or non-residential building with the purpose of promulgating a range of energy saving and energy efficiency opportunities. This allows an action plan to be drawn up based on previous research, which proposes measures to improve the situation so that energy consumption is lower and more efficient. Improving and saving energy consumption has a positive impact not only on the environment, but also on cost savings.
Generally, an energy audit can be carried out wherever there is a high energy consumption and you want to reduce that consumption to save both energy and money.

HOW TO CONDUCT AN ENERGY AUDIT?

When the benefits of an energy audit are obvious, questions arise about who can conduct it and how. Since the inspection must be carried out by a certified technician, it is perfectly fine to hire a company (such as Arcostec) that can perform the audit. From the owner’s point of view, everything is very simple: he must provide the relevant data and provide the technician with access to the objects.

From there, the rest of the audit falls on the auditor, who will follow certain steps and stages, which are presented below:

1. Planning and data collection.

  • Survey and information gathering. Initial meeting with homeowners to gather relevant information and plan next steps.
  • Visual inspection. The auditor examines the object and conducts a visual inspection to get an idea of the condition of the object.
  • Survey of building users. Questions are asked about the degree of comfort with which the owners live and about the characteristics of consumption.
  • Preliminary report. The auditor issues a report detailing initial findings and future steps.

2. Measurements

  • Measurements are carried out based on previously obtained results. 

3. Diagnosis of the situation.

  • The necessary calculation is performed starting from the previously obtained data in order to obtain the final data and thus check whether the parameters meet the regulatory requirements or not. 

4. Analysis and proposal for improving energy efficiency in residential premises.

  • The deviation that may exist between the obtained data and the optimal data that should exist is calculated. Based on this data, a list of proposals for improving the energy efficiency of the building is compiled, reflecting the savings that can be obtained from its application, in terms of energy (kWh/year), economics (EUR/year) and environment (kgCO2/year). 

5. Release of the final report

  • Finally, all data is collected in a report that is provided to the client. 

WHAT IS MEASURED IN AN ENERGY AUDIT?

Once we know what steps the auditor takes to conduct the audit, another question may arise &mdash ; what are the measured parameters and means. These are the elements that are measured to conduct a proper energy audit:

  • Energy consumption - By analyzing energy bills and meter data, a comparison is made between actual data and optimal data. 
  • Grid analysis - Analyzes the amount of reactive energy that is not used for consumption.
  • Insulation - Enclosures, thermal bridges, openings and all possible scenarios in which energy losses can occur. 
  • Lighting - An inventory of all existing lighting elements is carried out in order to find out what energy is consumed. 
  • Air conditioning and domestic hot water - Existing generating elements and distribution systems are analyzed to optimize the system. 
  • Monitoring and management - Devices used to monitor consumption are tested for functionality.
  • Equipment - Inventory of all electrical equipment (air conditioners, ventilation, boilers, pumps, etc.…) to obtain information on current consumption.
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