An energy audit is a systematic analysis of a building’s energy equipment and systems, as well as an analysis of energy consumption over at least a two year period of performance.

The purpose of an energy audit is to determine the most energy-efficient solutions and cost-effective improvements that will reduce annual energy consumption and costs. An energy audit report provides a list of recommended strategies on how to save energy, how much it will cost, and what the eventual payback – or return on investment – will be.

Depending on the physical and energy-use characteristics plus the needs and resources of the owner/management, these steps can require different levels of effort. A building energy analysis can be classified into the following levels of effort:


Preliminary Energy Use Analysis:    Analyze historic utility use and cost. Develop the Energy Utilization Index (EUI) of the building. Compare the building EUI to similar buildings to determine if further engineering study and analysis are likely to produce significant energy savings.

Level I—Walk Through Analysis:    Assess a building’s energy cost and efficiency by analyzing energy bills and conducting a brief on-site survey of the building. A Level I energy analysis will identify and provide a savings and cost analysis of low-cost/no-cost measures. It will also provide a listing of potential capital improvements that merit further consideration, and an initial judgment of potential costs and savings. A walk-through analysis of a facility will utilize all the forms in this publication except those in the section on “Building and Systems Report.”

Level II—Energy Survey and Analysis:    This includes a more detailed building survey and energy analysis. A breakdown of the energy use within the building is provided. A Level II energy analysis will identify and provide the savings and cost analysis of all practical measures that meet the owner’s constraints and economic criteria, along with a discussion of any changes to operation and maintenance procedures. It may also provide a listing of potential capital-intensive improvements that require more thorough data collection and engineering analysis, and a judgment of potential costs and savings. This level of analysis will be adequate for most buildings and measures.

Level III—Detailed Analysis of identified Capital-Intensive Modifications:    This level of engineering analysis focuses on potential capital-intensive projects identified during the Level II analysis and involves more detailed field data gathering as well as a more rigorous engineering analysis. It provides detailed project cost and savings calculations with a high level of confidence enough for major capital investment decisions.

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