Commercial Energy Assessments and Audits

Energy Assessment Services (EAS) are more than just an energy audit. A comprehensive energy assessment is required when designing a building for Net Zero Energy usage, certification, or simply to reduce energy costs. At Sain Engineering Associates, Inc., we identify flaws early in the project planning process and troubleshoot underperforming systems.

Before significant renovations or repairs, energy audits are frequently used to diagnose critical issues. Since each facility has unique demands, the type and extent of energy assessments vary. Assessments for commercial or industrial facilities are frequently applied to the entire structure. These are typically performed to evaluate the facility as a whole and recognize any system improvements that you can make to improve efficiency, conservation, or cost.

Conducting an Energy Audit With Sain Engineering Associates

SEA offers a wide range of commercial energy audits and energy assessments and audits, including Preliminary Energy Use Analysis, Investment Grade Audits, and ASHRAE Levels I-III audits.

We can assist property owners in determining which process will best meet their needs, from capital planning to the implementation phase of work. We conduct these audits to see if there are any no-cost solutions that our engineers can tweak for increased energy savings. The following are typical outcomes of these audits:

  • Identifying and correcting building flaws
  • Examining potential energy-saving projects and the associated savings
  • Pollutant emission reduction
  • Enhancing energy security
  • Identification of ways in which to reduce energy usage

Obtaining a commercial energy audit can result in various outcomes, each with its own set of advantages for businesses, developers, and property owners.

The Importance of a Commercial Energy Audit

Energy assessments and audits are versatile and responsive tools that provide building owners with information about “how,” “when,” and “why” energy is used. Energy audits and assessments are the foundation for identifying, comprehending, and prioritizing energy-saving solutions throughout a system.

There are generally three types of commercial energy audits that are performed. These can be broken down further into separate categories. Our team is well-versed in the following audit types:

SEA Energy Assessments and Audits

  • Preliminary Energy Consumption Analysis
    Our certified energy analysts will gather historical utility usage, peak demand data, and cost index information to recommend no-cost, low-cost, and capital-intensive energy efficiency measures (EEMs).
  • Audits of Investment Grade
    The most thorough energy audit is an investment-grade audit. It examines the monetary aspects of energy savings and the return on investment from potential changes or upgrades. When planning facility upgrades, facility owners can use the audit results as a budgeting tool.
  • Audits of ASHRAE Levels I-III
    The American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) Audits are carried out by SEA. We can assist you in determining which level of an ASHRAE audit best suits your goals and objectives for defining a more energy-efficient system throughout your facilities.

We have assessed and audited hundreds of millions of square feet of conditioned space worldwide. Our energy assessment services include identifying life cycle costs and compelling energy savings opportunities for developing project-level documentation for project implementation.

Energy Efficiency Measures At a Glance

Efficient energy systems are a vital part of any development, whether they are already developed or within the early development phases. Energy audits offer keen insight into where energy is being used and how companies can improve or make necessary changes to be more energy efficient.

Each energy audit will come with detailed information on appropriate energy conservation measures. The reports are vital for operational teams to understand where they can make necessary changes to reduce wastage and improve day-to-day operating costs. Energy-saving solutions can be as simple as switching lights or as complex as upgrading an HVAC system and installing insulation.

Energy Assessments and Audits Facts

At Sain Engineering Associates, we are proud to have completed large-scale energy audits across a number of industries and developments. Our reports have delivered accurate and practical information and solutions to help reduce energy usage and streamline operations effectively.

Our stats:


Energy Assessments and Audits Facts

13.5M+ Square Feet of Commissioned Facilities
$100M Potential Energy Savings Identified
245+ Buildings Commissioned

Commercial Energy Audit Project Activities

Each energy assessment has its lifecycle, and our engineers will talk you through the process each step. To form a thorough understanding of what is required, we will need to follow through several different stages of discovery. These include:

  • Onsite assessment of all energy-using systems
  • Benchmarking
  • Identification of energy waste
  • Identifying low and no-cost energy savings opportunities
  • Identifying energy conservation measures and costing analysis
  • In-depth energy rate structure analysis
  • Building energy modeling portfolios

Energy assessments can be performed on a building-by-building basis, on a subset of representative buildings, or across the entire portfolio of the owner. The assessment’s depth and breadth can range from a simple low-cost/no-cost study to a detailed analysis of capital-intensive modifications.

Get in touch with a member of the SEA team to ascertain your needs and how to facilitate changes best. Each energy assessment and audit service is tailored to help you determine which model might be best for your goals and objectives.

Why is Energy Auditing Important?

Energy efficiency is a vital component of any development. It provides a clear insight into how energy is used and affects operating costs. In these times, low-cost measures are more critical than ever. However, an energy audit provides more than just insight into how facility managers can improve efficiency, lower energy bills, and more – it is an effective procedure that can provide your operation with the appropriate tools for other functions.

They are often required before implementing building automation systems and other intelligent solutions that would best suit your company’s operating model. As there are various audit levels, a skilled and experienced energy auditor can accurately assess your company’s needs for a fully tailored energy analysis with a customized report on your current energy systems and how proposed measures could offer improvement.

ASHRAE Level Audits

Energy assessments and audits are versatile tools that provide building owners with information about “how,” “when,” and “why” energy is used. They offer a wide range of benefits – and each can be chosen based on the specificity and criticality of the facilities being measured. The following guide will assist you in determining which audit is the best fit for your organization.

What Exactly Is an ASHRAE Audit?

The American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) has created a system of commercial and multifamily energy audits. These audits can enable you to develop plans to improve overall energy efficiency in your projects as well as in wider towns and cities.

Energy audits are classified into three levels by ASHRAE based on their intensity, time commitment, and expected outcome. The audit levels run across three levels.

What Audit Level Does Your Project Need?

Being number one isn’t always the best option. ASHRAE defines three levels of building energy analysis or energy audit, with increasing levels of effort and reporting detail. Each level increases the initial costs but also the potential for cost savings.

It is important to note that when inquiring about an ASHRAE audit – Being a “1” and having a Level 1 audit may or may not suffice. Instead, you will need to ask – What, more importantly, do you intend to do with the data? That should guide your decision.

The four audit levels are as follows:

  • Preliminary Energy-Use Analysis
  • Level 1 – Walk Through Survey of the facility and energy systems
  • Level 2 – Energy Survey and Analysis
  • Level 3 – Detailed Analysis of Capital-Intensive Modifications  

The Importance of an Experienced Auditor

It is vital to consider that a poorly conducted commercial energy audit could result in lost revenue and raise the costs of additional auditing and fixing any efficiency measures that were previously implemented based on the faulty report.

For this reason, it is vital to work with an experienced and honest energy auditor that will help you through each step of the process. For an energy audit that you can trust – speak to a member of the Sain team to establish your needs and set up an audit plan that is suited to your project.

Taking a Look at The Audit Levels

Each audit level plays a vital role in the resulting report and the recommendations your chosen energy audit firm will recommend implementing to improve your energy conservation measures.

Preliminary and Investment Grade Analysis

This is the most fundamental energy audit. The most basic energy audit is the preliminary and investment-grade energy use analysis, which involves analyzing historical energy use and cost.

Energy consumption is typically benchmarked or compared to similar buildings to determine whether additional engineering studies and analyses are likely to result in significant energy savings. It is also an essential step in determining the scope of any further audits and assessments. This analysis is not exactly considered one of the official three levels; however, it is regarded as the springboard stage that sets the president for all future investigations.

  • The Walk-Through – Audit Level I
    This energy audit serves as the foundation for building energy optimization. It entails interviews with facility personnel such as facility managers and various employees with a direct hand in the facility’s operations. The audit will include a review of utility bills or other operational data and a facility tour.

    The goal is to identify areas of apparent energy inefficiency. The information is compiled to create a preliminary report outlining low-cost / no-cost measures and potential capital improvements for future audits. This is sufficient to prioritize energy efficiency projects.
  • Basic Energy Survey Audit Level II
    Building on the ASHRAE Level 1 analysis, this report’s proposed energy efficiency measures are subjected to detailed energy calculations and financial analysis. Energy consumption is broken down by end-use, identifying areas with the most significant potential for efficiency gains. Utility rates are examined to see if there are opportunities for rate changes, and critical building representatives are interviewed to gain insights into building operational characteristics, potential problem areas, and program goals.

    While this report is a little more in-depth, it can serve as a reliable measure for getting started. At this stage, the energy auditor will be able to offer you a recommendation for further analysis or be able to tell you whether this level is sufficient enough to meet energy efficiency goals.
  • In-depth Analysis of Capital Intensive Resources – Audit Level III
    This more detailed approach collects field data in more rigorous analysis, focusing on engineering analysis of potential capital-intensive projects identified in previous ASHRAE audits. Existing utility data is supplemented with sub-metering and monitoring of major energy-consuming systems’ operating characteristics.

    This provides a realistic baseline against which to compare energy and operating savings for proposed measures, as well as before and after energy project implementation. This ASHRAE Level audit is the most rigorous and intensive of commercial energy audits. It offers the most impressive and efficient ways in which to reduce energy wastage and consumption.

Is An Energy Audit Worth It?

ASHRAE audits are a vital part of any engineering project. If you are concerned that they might not be worth it or need additional information on how your project could benefit – conduct a preliminary analysis before committing to a Level 1 energy audit. This introductory audit can offer you insight into whether your facility would benefit from further investigation.

An energy audit might be paramount to reducing those costs if you run on high operational costs. A skilled energy auditor will make recommendations that are tailored to your operational and cost needs not only in the immediate future but on a projected basis too.

Simply Put – YES!

To summarize, an energy audit is worth every cent spent. The projected cost savings on recommended systems from an energy audit mean it can save you the cost of the audits themselves. While you might be concerned that the upfront costing of an audit is steep – it truly pays for itself in the long run, as well as banking you additional monthly savings by reducing operational costs and the costs of future repairs and breakdowns on insufficient or outdated systems.

Get Started With Sain

Energy Assessments and Audits

Working with trusted energy auditors and engineers is vital for any project – at Sain, you are guaranteed to work with some of the best within the industry. Our collective experience has allowed us to offer a comprehensive business energy audit model that speaks volumes and saves your operation in the long run.

If you are ready to take the next step and invest in energy efficiency assessment services – get in touch with us! Our team specializes in several tailor-made solutions to ensure that your project has the opportunity to thrive while implementing the best in energy reduction engineering practices.

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