Purpose of energy audits
The Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) is a legal requirement for organisations of a certain size or value. The scheme is designed to make companies look at how they use energy with a view to improving performance. If your organisation qualifies for ESOS, then there is a chance that your premises may be subject to an on-site energy audit.
These audits are required by ESOS in order to understand where and how energy is used within the organisations premises and operations. Every audit will recommend cost-effective measures that will save the organisation energy and money – the ultimate intention of the legislation. Saving money on escalating energy bills will also increase competitiveness.
Therefore the “Opportunity” in ESOS really is a big one, both for individual businesses and the UK as a whole.
What to expect
The on-site energy audit itself is the practical element of the process in which a qualified auditor assesses your operations (buildings, processes and transport fuel use) to identify how energy is used on a day to day basis, and to identify where savings can be made.
In order for the auditor to understand fully how energy is used, they will need to visit your site and see what is in place and what is used on the site. Typical areas the audit will assess include:
- The type of lighting used in the premises and if more energy efficient alternatives are available
- How heating and cooling systems are managed, reviewing settings and control types
- Insulation levels to see where heat loss could be reduced
- The type of energy used to run the premises, and if cheaper or lower carbon fuels or renewables are appropriate
- How equipment and machinery is used, and if savings can be made through more efficient operation
An audit can take from around 2 hours to a full day depending on the size and complexity of the site. When visiting the site, it is helpful for the auditor to be accompanied by someone from the site who is knowledgeable in the areas being surveyed. In addition, the auditor may wish to speak to a cross section of staff to include facilities, maintenance and those staff operating specific equipment, or occupying specific areas.
They will undertake a thorough survey of the property using measurements and photographs and assessing lighting, heating and insulation systems, the building construction type and its usage, to create your audit report. During the audit the auditor may also wish to take meter readings, or view monitoring or measurement activities in place on the site.
The audit is a visual inspection and so not invasive of the structure of the building. Each auditor will make their own observations.
To ensure that relevant energy saving opportunities are identified, the auditor may request energy related information in advance of the on-site visit.
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