An energy assessment is an inspection, survey and analysis of energy flows for energy conservation in a building aiming to reduce the amount of energy input into the system without negatively affecting the output. When the object of study is an occupied building then reducing energy consumption while maintaining or improving human comfort, health and safety are of primary concern. Beyond simply identifying the sources of energy use, an energy assessment aims to prioritise the energy uses according to the greatest to least cost effective opportunities for energy savings.
The term energy assessment is most commonly used to describe a broad spectrum of energy studies ranging from a quick walk-through of a facility to identify major problem areas to a comprehensive analysis of the implications of alternative energy efficiency measures sufficient to satisfy the financial criteria of sophisticated investors. Audit is required to identify the most efficient and cost-effective Energy Conservation Opportunities (ECOs) or Measures (ECMs).
The main issues of an energy assessments are:
- The analysis of building and utility data, including the installed equipment and analysis of energy bills;
- The survey of the real operating conditions;
- The understanding of the building behaviour and of the interactions with weather, occupancy and operating schedules;
- The selection and the evaluation of energy conservation measures;
- The estimation of energy saving potential;
- The identification of customer concerns and needs.
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