An Energy Audit is a comprehensive evaluation and analysis of a building’s current energy use, and identifies alternatives for reducing energy costs without impacting the current level of comfort or productivity within the facility.  The number one goal of an energy audit is to maintain the proper level of the indoor environment (comfort, temperature, humidity, ventilation, production rate, etc.).  The number two goal is to achieve the first goal at the lowest possible cost for energy.  The quality of the indoor environment should not be sacrificed in an attempt to reduce energy costs.

Energy audits are often confused with Existing Building Commissioning (EBCx).  The main difference between energy audits and EBCx is the Current Facility Requirements (CFR).  With EBCx, the CFR drives the project by identifying what the current needs of the facility are, which may be drastically different than what the original needs and design were when the facility was constructed. With energy audits, reducing energy consumption and costs drives the project.  If a facility has wide-spread comfort complaints, or serious Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) issues, than EBCx should be the service considered in lieu of an energy audit.

Results from energy audits provide a roadmap which identifies the most appropriate energy-saving opportunities for a single building or group of buildings in a larger facility such as a military base, hospital complex, K-12 school or university.  Energy audits alone do not decrease energy usage, as energy-saving strategies must actually be applied in order to see results. However, the implementation of these cost-effective opportunities can result in a payback period typically ranging from six months to four years, depending on many factors such as energy costs, hours of operation, estimated savings and implementation costs.  Blending fast payback measures with major capital improvement measures help reduce the total payback when deeper building retrofit projects are being considered.

EBCx Services has a broad range of experience performing Energy Assessments/Audits (ASHRAE Level 1, 2, 3) and targeted energy assessments of complex HVAC&R systems.  We are experienced in facilities ranging from military bases, prisons, office buildings, healthcare, k-12 schools, universities, pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities, industrial process plants and aviation.

Benefits of an Energy Audit:

  • Energy savings:  Acknowledging and updating energy inefficiencies automatically reduces a building’s demand for energy.  An energy audit also increases the building owner’s knowledge of operating systems and their proper maintenance, which subsequently further decreases energy usage.
  • Water savings
  • Financial savings:  Energy savings and financial savings go hand-in-hand.  By identifying and committing to strategies that help reduce energy consumption, a building’s energy costs can be greatly reduced.
  • Sound investment:  Even though energy audits require an initial fee, attending to hidden energy problems can prevent owners from facing future costs and repairs.  Also, a building’s resale value is increased when energy efficiency techniques are adopted, as buyers prefer high-efficiency buildings.  For example, in a 200,000 square foot office building that pays $2 per square foot in energy costs, a 10% reduction in energy consumption can translate into an additional $40,000 of Net Operating Income (NOI).  At a cap rate of 8%, this could mean a potential asset value boost of $500,000.

ASHRAE has developed and organized different levels of energy audits to provide the industry with a range of choices when a building owner or facility manager is deciding to have an energy audit performed at their facility.  As a result, the levels of effort have been organized into the following categories:

  •  Preliminary Energy-Use Analysis (PEA)
  • Level 1 – Walk-Through Analysis
  • Level 2 – Energy Survey and Analysis
  • Level 3 – Detailed Analysis of Capital-Intensive Modifications
  • Targeted Audits – Allows an in-depth analysis to a specific area or system

 Below is a brief overview of each type of energy audit:

Preliminary Energy-Use Analysis (PEA)

  • Precedes an audit of the building
  • Develops the Energy Cost Index (ECI) of the building (expressed in dollars per floor area per year).
  • Develops the Energy Utilization Index (EUI) of the building (expressed in kBtu/ft² per year)
  • Compare the building EUI to similar buildings EUIs to assess the potential for improved energy performance
  • Benchmark the building using Energy Star Portfolio Manager
  • Identify abnormal months of energy use
  • Identify billing errors
  • Review utility tariff rates to determine if a more cost effective class is available based upon the load profile of the facility

Level 1

  • Includes all of the work performed for the PEA
  • Perform a brief walk-through survey of the facility to become familiar with its construction, equipment, operation and maintenance
  • Look for obvious (low-hanging fruit) measures
  • Provide a list of low-cost measures with initial rough estimated costs and savings

 Level 2

  • Includes all of the work performed for the Level 1 audit
  • Review mechanical and electrical drawings, installed condition, maintenance practices and operating methods
  • Perform a detailed walk-through of the facility
  • Perform necessary testing of equipment and systems to establish as-found condition for accurate energy calculations to be performed
  • Disaggregate energy use by on-site observation, measurements and engineering calculations
  • Identify available financial incentives, rebates, grants and low-interest financing
  • Identify Energy Conservation Measures (ECM), both low-cost and capital improvements
  • Provide initial rough estimated costs and savings
  • Meet with customer and stake holders, review ECM list and prioritize measures, bundle measures as appropriate
  • Finalize ECM budget costs and estimated savings, and appropriate financial metrics

Level 3 - also known as an Investment Grade Audit (IGA)

  • Includes all of the work performed for the Level 2 audit
  • Detailed testing, modeling of equipment to gain a higher degree of confidence of energy savings
  • Rigorous engineering evaluations that provide a high level of confidence for major capital improvement decisions
  • More detailed field data may be required to support the required engineering analysis


  • Energy assessment of a specific system or end use at a facility
  • Package unit equipment replacements
  • Chilled water plant upgrade
  • Thermal Energy Storage (TES)
  • Boiler plant upgrade
  • Lighting system upgrade
  • Control system upgrade

EBCx Services understands how to effectively perform energy audits in a cost effective manner for our clients.  If you are interested in reducing energy costs at you facility, please contact us for additional information.

Contact EBCx Services for information on how to reduce energy costs at your facility


Replacement of existing equipment (retrofits) must be planned carefully to determine both estimated energy savings and construction costs.

 EBCx Services holds the following certifications through the Association of Energy Engineers (AEE):

  • Certified Energy Manager (CEM)
  • Certified Measurement & Verification Professional (CMVP)
  • Certified Demand Side Manager (CDSM)

Building Automation Systems (BAS) provides significant energy savings with attractive paybacks.  Often the only costs are minor programming and set-point changes.

Replacing inefficient equipment provides both energy and maintenance / repair cost savings.

 An important part of performing an energy audit  is verifying that equipment and controls operate correctly.