What’s involved in an energy audit?

There are many considerations for saving both money and energy at a facility. To ensure that you are moving in the right direction, however, it may be necessary to have an energy audit conducted.

05/27/2016


There are many considerations for saving both money and energy at a facility. To ensure that you are moving in the right direction, however, it may be necessary to have an energy audit conducted. Courtesy: L&S ElectricThere are many considerations for saving both money and energy at a facility. To ensure that you are moving in the right direction, however, it may be necessary to have an energy audit conducted. These are typically conducted by a third party who follows specific guidelines and works with in-house auditors, if they are available, to establish the criteria to maximize energy efficiency. An energy audit can be broken down into several key steps:

  • Preparation/Planning
  • Data Collection
  • System Measurements
  • Review Operating Practices
  • Data Analysis
  • Reporting and Recommendations

There are also two primary types of audits that may be considered for an industrial energy audit. A walk-through audit, usually referred to as a preliminary audit, and a diagnostic (detailed) audit.

The preliminary energy audit uses readily available data to analyze performance and energy consumption at the plant. It does not typically require a lot of data collection or measurement. Preliminary energy audits can be done in a shorter amount of time, but the results are more generalized.

A diagnostic, or detailed, audit requires more information and data collection. The data inventory may be conducted throughout the facility at the critical energy systems, and the collected data is reviewed in detail. A detailed audit takes longer to complete than a walk-through audit, but the results are much more detailed and comprehensive. If you're looking for a highly accurate snapshot of energy performance at your plant and more specific recommendations from the auditors, the detailed audit is one that should be considered.

Planning Phase—before getting an energy audit, the criteria for the audit is reviewed and defined.

Data Collection—Data can be collected in many ways at the facility. In some cases, it may be just a review of the energy bills, both current and historical, or it may be a review of production-related data. Ongoing data collection may also be necessary at specific points throughout the facility to monitor energy usage and to check for any issues that may need correction.

System Measurements—Some of the system measurements that may be taken include electrical measurements, the temperature of the liquid or solid surfaces, the pressure in pipes, relative humidity, exhaust emissions, and fuel flows.

Review Operating Practices—The operating practices at any facility can have a large impact on the energy audit as well.

Data Analysis—During a thorough energy audit, massive amounts of data will be accumulated, and at times, there may be an ongoing accumulation of data from specific areas of the facility. Software is used to analyze the data and to look for any issues that may exist.

Reporting and Recommendations—A comprehensive report will be provided, and any recommendations for improving energy usage at the facility will be given at that time.

It can take some time to have the energy audit performed, but it is going to be well worth it in the long run. If you follow the recommendations of those who conduct the energy audit, it can save you both time and money and improve the production at your facility in numerous ways.

— David Manney is a marketing administrator at L&S Electric. This article originally appeared on L&S Electric Watts New Blog. L&S Electric Inc. is a CFE Media content partner. Edited by Erin Dunne, production coordinator, CFE Media, edunne@cfemedia.com.



Top Plant
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America.
Product of the Year
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
System Integrator of the Year
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering and Plant Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners in three categories.
October 2018
Tools vs. sensors, functional safety, compressor rental, an operational network of maintenance and safety
September 2018
2018 Engineering Leaders under 40, Women in Engineering, Six ways to reduce waste in manufacturing, and Four robot implementation challenges.
July/Aug
GAMS preview, 2018 Mid-Year Report, EAM and Safety
October 2018
2018 Product of the Year; Subsurface data methodologies; Digital twins; Well lifecycle data
August 2018
SCADA standardization, capital expenditures, data-driven drilling and execution
June 2018
Machine learning, produced water benefits, programming cavity pumps
Spring 2018
Burners for heat-treating furnaces, CHP, dryers, gas humidification, and more
October 2018
Complex upgrades for system integrators; Process control safety and compliance
September 2018
Effective process analytics; Four reasons why LTE networks are not IIoT ready

Annual Salary Survey

After two years of economic concerns, manufacturing leaders once again have homed in on the single biggest issue facing their operations:

It's the workers—or more specifically, the lack of workers.

The 2017 Plant Engineering Salary Survey looks at not just what plant managers make, but what they think. As they look across their plants today, plant managers say they don’t have the operational depth to take on the new technologies and new challenges of global manufacturing.

Read more: 2017 Salary Survey

The Maintenance and Reliability Coach's blog
Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
One Voice for Manufacturing
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Maintenance and Reliability Professionals Blog
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Machine Safety
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
Research Analyst Blog
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Marshall on Maintenance
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
Lachance on CMMS
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
Material Handling
This digital report explains how everything from conveyors and robots to automatic picking systems and digital orders have evolved to keep pace with the speed of change in the supply chain.
Electrical Safety Update
This digital report explains how plant engineers need to take greater care when it comes to electrical safety incidents on the plant floor.
IIoT: Machines, Equipment, & Asset Management
Articles in this digital report highlight technologies that enable Industrial Internet of Things, IIoT-related products and strategies.
Randy Steele
Maintenance Manager; California Oils Corp.
Matthew J. Woo, PE, RCDD, LEED AP BD+C
Associate, Electrical Engineering; Wood Harbinger
Randy Oliver
Control Systems Engineer; Robert Bosch Corp.
Data Centers: Impacts of Climate and Cooling Technology
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
Safety First: Arc Flash 101
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
Critical Power: Hospital Electrical Systems
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
Design of Safe and Reliable Hydraulic Systems for Subsea Applications
This eGuide explains how the operation of hydraulic systems for subsea applications requires the user to consider additional aspects because of the unique conditions that apply to the setting
click me