The Energy Audit Process

Date Added: August 30, 2008 12:41:18 AM
Author: Jason Wilson
Category: Energy Auditing
THE ENERGY AUDIT PROCESS

An energy audit process consists of the following parts:
-An interview
-Observations and measurements
-Calculations
-Presentation of recommendations.

THE ENERGY AUDIT INTERVIEW

When you first enter the home to begin the audit, you need to establish a rapport with the residents. Remember that you will be going through their home, making comments and observations that they may not understand.  You should explain the purpose of the audit and tell them about the procedures you will be following and the report you will give them about the result of the audit. During the interview you will be asking a number of question sabout their home and their energy use.

One purpose of your questions will be to provide you with some of the information necessary for you calculations. A second will be to introduce topics on which the residents might want to ask questions. In order of rthe residents to take action as a result of your visit they must have the necessary information to make decsions.

The discustions growing from your interview questions can provide a foundtion for their awareness. A third reason for the questions is to give you a basis for carrying on a conversation. This will help to put both you and the resident at ease.

OBSERVATIONS AND MEASURES

After the interview you will begin to tour the home. The order in which you conduct this walkthrough does not really matter as long as you cover all areas. It is sometimes easier to begin with a tour of the outside grounds and the exterior of the home. It is helpful to have the resident go with you on the walk through for a number of reasons.

-if you have questions the resident will be available to answer them.
-as you identify opportunities for conservation practices or measures you can point them out to the residents and anwer
any questions they may have
-if they are with you the entire time ou are walking trhough their home, it is unlikely that you will be accused of any wrongdoing later.

The specific observations and measurements you obtain will depend on the audit procedures you are using. They should be made as accurately as possible and with as little desruption of the household as possible.

CALCULATIONS

Again, the specific calculations an auditor makes will depend upon the audit procedure being used. They should be done as crefully and as accurately as possible because they will yield information on which the resident will base his or her decision and subsequent actions.

PRESENTATION OF RECOMMENDATIONS
Probably the most significant part of the audit process will be the specific recommendation the auditor makes as result of the observations, measurements, and caculations.

If the resident is to consider your recomentdations, they will have to appear reasonable and appropriate to the resident and his particular circumstances. No matter how reasonable or appropriate the recommendations might seem to an auditor unless they appear to be reasonable and appropriate o the residen they will be ignored. A family with an elderly person living at home, for instance, might have difficulty accepting a suggestion to turn the thermostat down to 65 degrees F. The auditor must also be aware that financial considerations will play a part in the residnet’s deision making. It is not reasonable to recommend that a tenant pay to have blown in insulation put into the walls of a rented home. Nor would it be reasonalble to urge that a low income family invest in expensive storm windows and doors. On the other hand, if the auditor suggests that they use plastic for the same purpose, even though it may not work as well, the recommendation might be much more acceptable to the residents.

When you have completed the rest of the audit process, you will present the information to the residents. This should appear in a form that is is easy to understand. Again you must consider the individual to whom you are presenting the information.

During the audit you will:
-determine which measures are applicable to the home
-conduct the necessary measurements and required calculations
-produce an estimate of the cost for each appropriate measure.
-provide examples of first year savings if the measure is installed
-provide examples of tax incentives that can decrease the cost of implementation
-motivate the customer to take action
-perform these duties with a high level of professionalism.

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