How much effort does an energy audit take?

Answer by Helen Santalla (Creara)

First of all, the auditor requires some preliminary information to be analyzed before the on-site visit. This preliminary information has to be provided by the organization and consists of:

  • Energy bills: the last 12 energy bills of every energy source consumed
  • Process diagrams, if available
  • Site layouts and drawings, if available
  • Equipment inventory, if available.

Sometimes this stage of the energy audit requires much effort by the organization due to the difficulty of finding this information. It usually involves different departments within the organization’s structure. For example, energy bills usually come from the financial department while drawings and inventory come from the operation and maintenance departments.

In the second step of the energy audit, a stronger collaboration with the organization is required. During the on-site visit the auditor needs some assistance to understand the facility’s components and the operation parameters of all the equipment on the facility. It usually involves the operation and maintenance department, but also sometimes the administrative staff if technical details need to be gathered from equipment handbooks. Collaboration with the organization’s personnel is essential at this stage.

How long does an energy audit take?

Depending on the type of energy audit, the scope and level of depth of the analysis, the duration of the energy audit can vary greatly.

Some typical ranges of duration for the fieldwork are shown below:

  • Walk-Through Audit - usually takes 0.5-1day.
  • Energy Diagnosis - usually takes 3-6 days.
  • Investment Grade Audit - usually takes 5-10 days.

Additional time is spent at the office, and the most time-consuming tasks are analyzing the data and writing the energy audit report.