The American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) has established a series of energy audits for commercial and multifamily buildings. These audits can be useful in making plans for improving overall energy efficiency at your communities.
ASHRAE has three levels of energy audits, which vary based on the level of intensity, time commitment, and the type of outcome you may expect.
- A Level I energy audit is a basic “walk-through” type of audit; The goal of an ASHRAE Level I audit is to look for basic opportunities to improve a building’s energy optimization. An auditor’s assessment is likely to include low or no cost measures that can be taken to improve energy efficiency. A site walk, review of utility bills, and staff questionnaire are typically included.
- A Level II audit is typically more detailed and may include a building survey with a more extensive energy analysis. The Level I audit is completed, but with a deeper dive into the building’s energy consumption. Utility rates are analyzed with opportunities for savings identified. A Level II audit provides enough data to justify the implementation of a project without the need for additional data collection and analysis.
- A Level III audit is a long-term study and is the most intensive type of audit. Sub-metering and HVAC systems are analyzed during a Level III audit, as well as a Level I and II audit steps. Level III audits can be useful for communities / owners that have already completed a Level II audit and have identified desired capital improvement projects, but more data is needed before making that size of an investment.