Unlock Energy Efficiencies and Savings with a Commercial Energy Audit

Energy audits can benefit your commercial building operations, increase the asset’s value, and help reach important ESG targets. Find out how.

Chris Slater, Senior Mechanical Engineer

Today’s commercial property owners, operators, and occupiers face a global energy crisis unlike any other in recent history.

In the wake of escalating energy shortages, record-high utility costs, and ambitious Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) commitments set by corporations to meet long-term sustainability goals, the need for more efficient commercial building operations has never been more prevalent. Finding opportunities for energy efficiencies and conservation through a commercial energy audit can help mitigate the impacts of the current energy challenges.

Commercial energy audits are an essential part of keeping facilities operating at peak performance. In fact, it’s estimated that depending on the size, age, and energy profile of a building, savings of upwards of 30% can be achieved by implementing an auditor’s recommendations.

What to Expect from a Commercial Energy Audit

A commercial energy audit is a targeted review of a facility’s (or set of assets) main energy consuming systems (HVAC, lighting, compressed air, etc.) with the goal of identifying infrastructure where changes and/or upgrades provide opportunities for reducing energy consumption and achieving cost savings.

Typically, an audit is a one-to-two-day process that can range from a quick, high-level walkthrough of the facility to a detailed analysis that includes extensive data collection for lighting, plumbing, and mechanical systems as well as the kitchen(s) and control system. Each are observed and evaluated, resulting in a detailed report outlining the findings and recommendations.

Audit recommendations may encompass simple, low-cost adjustments such as upgrading to LED lighting or implementing a more consistent control of the building’s occupancy scheduling, to more complex upgrades that require some level of capital investment, such as installing Variable Frequency Drives or modifying the control system to incorporate advanced reset strategies.

The audit report will also include estimated costs and savings for all recommendations, allowing expedited implementation of the no-cost to low-cost measures and planning for the higher-cost investments.

Benefits of a Commercial Energy Audit

Benefits of an energy audit for both building owners and occupants include:

Greater Insight into Energy Consumption and Cost

A comprehensive energy audit reveals current energy costs, overall energy usage, and areas of inefficiencies, as well as identifying safety concerns with electrical systems, wiring, and ventilation. The recommendations resulting from a thorough energy audit ultimately maximize the asset’s life, reliability, energy efficiency, and performance.

Reduction in Overall and Peak Energy Usage

An energy audit identifies areas in a building that consume the most power, cost the most money to operate, and operate with the most inefficiency. With this information, the owner and/or facility manager can make the appropriate changes and upgrades to reduce overall energy usage and costs. Typically, savings from an audit’s recommendations begin to accrue immediately unless they are seasonally dependent.

Progress Towards ESG Targets

Optimization of facility systems resulting from an audit’s recommendations significantly reduces the asset’s carbon footprint and overall environmental impact, as well as improving the health, safety, and comfort of its occupants all of which contribute to achieving important ESG goals.

Increased Asset Value 

Improvements in a facility’s energy efficiency increases the value of the property by reducing operating costs. Additionally, most tenants and investors value greener properties for their long-term sustainability features and added comfort, making them a more attractive asset class to invest in, and occupy.

How ISS Can Help

With today’s escalating environmental and global energy challenges, now more than ever, commercial property owners are feeling the pressure to have peak-performing assets that boast sustainable operations. Strategic asset management requires a long-term, sustainable vision one that focuses on adopting environmentally sound practices that reduce costs, conserve energy, and boost efficiencies.

ISS offers a team of experienced auditors to work closely with clients to provide data-driven recommendations and solutions for achieving low-energy building goals and greater efficiency. Additionally, ISS leverages economies of scale to procure beneficial rates for energy and can assist in reinvesting the savings to reduce future consumption.

As an example, a large industrial client of ISS implemented saving measures based on an energy audit’s finding that have delivered $200,000 of new, annual energy savings over the past four consecutive years and achieved $2.0 million in cumulative savings over the same period. These results represent a return on investment of 281% on a total cost of delivery of $728,000. ISS continues to monitor the performance of the systems to ensure the client continues to benefit from these savings for years to come.

Whether it’s an operational adjustment or capital investment resulting from the energy audit process, clients benefit from reduced energy consumption and costs, with the added advantage of achieving critical environmental stewardship goals while also increasing the asset’s value. 

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About the Author

Chris Slater

Senior Mechanical Engineer

Contact Chrismailto:chris.slater@us.issworld.com?subject=Inquiry