Energy Audit for Buildings
An energy audit for buildings is an effective tool for energy management. It enables one to identify energy use among various opportunities and decide the various avenues for energy conservation. It tries to balance the energy input with its use and quantifies its consumption.
Energy is the primary input for all industrial, commercial, and domestic activities. In order to ensure a continuous supply of power to meet increasing demands, it is necessary to optimize supply and demand. The main problem is the utilization of energy from non-renewable energy sources, and that from alternative sources, to the maximum extent possible. In other words, it can be said that as energy is saved, money is saved.
An energy analysis of a building provides answers to the following questions: what to do and for what benefits? The analysis identifies energy use among various installations and defines opportunities for energy conservation. It is generally done in three phases - preliminary audit, general audit, and detailed audit.
- Identifying waste of energy in major areas
- Assessing present patterns of energy consumption in different centers
- Identifying the cost and quality of energy inputs
- Relating energy input and output
- Implementing different measures of energy conservation
- Fixing of energy saving targets
Study of Energy Use for Buildings
A systematic study of energy use in buildings for different systems and equipments is very essential. The study is conducted by a qualified energy auditor. He visits the house and inspects all equipment consuming energy such as an oven, refrigerator, air conditioner, washing machine, television set, heater, exhaust fan, and so forth. The auditor studies the power usage and prepares a detailed report describing the necessary steps, called ECM (energy conservation measures,) to be taken to reduce the use of energy. He then quantifies the energy that can be saved by taking these steps. The study gives the homeowner the basis for deciding which ECM to implement and the magnitude of expected savings.
Energy Conservation Measures
For a new building, during the construction stage itself, energy saving measures can be implemented. In the case of an existing building, minor modifications may have to be made based on the recommendations of the energy auditor. The building should be constructed in such a way as to get natural light to the maximum extent possible. For lighting and heating systems, solar systems should be effectively used. The shade and color of the interior of the rooms should be chosen to allow the reflection of light in the proper perspective.
The purpose of an audit is to identify the use of energy in a building and its energy conservation measures. The audit procedure can be enlarged as required in various phases. A good audit will reduce energy costs by 10 percent to 40 percent.
Society and Environment, Suresh K Dhameja, S K Kataria and Sons, Delhi, 2007