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Cutting back on energy costs can include upgrading lighting and installing smart HVAC and thermostat technology. Still, it is hard to determine the best way to optimize a building’s energy and financial performance without investing in an assessment. Improving energy efficiency measures and cutting energy costs starts with Making Energy An Asset®; an ASHRAE Level 2 Audit could be the perfect place to start.
Once you benchmark or compare the energy performance of your building with a peer facility and establish where to start on your energy efficiency and sustainability plan, you can move on to getting an ASHRAE audit. There are three different ASHRAE audit levels to choose from, which all offer different results to reduce energy and save money.
The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers, also known as ASHRAE, is a professional energy auditing association that assists businesses in improving energy efficiency. Compared to the simple ASHRAE Level 1 audit, ASHRAE Level 2 energy audit provides a more detailed analysis of energy use to determine where a business can cut energy waste.
While an ASHRAE Level 1 audit may not be enough and Level 3 may be too much, a Level 2 audit may be precisely what your business needs to optimize energy use. An ASHRAE Level 2 energy audit takes the information you receive from a Level 1 audit and includes additional energy efficiency details with a further analysis of savings and costs.
Level 1 includes facility interviews and reviews of your utility bills and operating data. In comparison, an ASHRAE Level 2 audit will offer a more detailed analysis with an in-depth interview process. Also, Level 2 includes a walk-through to survey systems and operations and pinpoint improvement options. While Level 1 walk-throughs are more limited, Level 2 walk-throughs are more detailed and include a review of architectural, mechanical, electrical, and control drawings.
Level 1 may be a good starting point, but it does not provide enough data to justify carrying out a plan. A Level 2 energy audit collects the data needed for an energy report, including the energy pattern and the advised measures to improve energy efficiency. Strategic planning is vital when managing an energy reduction project, and an ASHRAE Level 2 audit should be a key step in your plan.
Level 2 audits collect utility bills over several months to determine the best way to achieve lower rates. Breaking down a building’s infrastructure and performing a detailed financial analysis helps your business identify energy cost reduction opportunities so that you can get the best return on investment.
For businesses eager to improve energy efficiency, an ASHRAE Level 2 energy audit provides a sufficient outline to achieve energy reduction goals without significant capital improvements. The only time you should decide to move on to a Level 3 audit is if you and your team decide to take on a major capital cost project that will require more data before implementing.
A Level 2 audit can be completed without doing an ASHRAE Level 1 audit. If your company already has sustainability practices in place, a Level 2 audit could offer quality advice and an implementation plan to improve energy efficiency in your building further.
Overall, the complexity of an ASHRAE audit increases at every level, but each level identifies building modifications that will help reduce the operation cost while also lowering carbon footprint. ASHRAE Level 2 Energy Audits provides organizations with a detailed energy report and an enhanced understanding of operations without the sometimes unnecessary additional measurements and data you would receive at Level 3. Level 2 Energy Audits are a perfect option for companies looking to cut costs and be more sustainable in their day-to-day operations.
If you and your team are considering a Level 2 ASHRAE building audit and want to know more, please contact Chateau Energy Solutions.
Ready to get started on the path to energy efficiency and sustainability?