Going green is all the rage right now, with everyone from large corporations to individual citizens looking for ways to decrease their impact.
Among the changes seen by this trend toward sustainability has been an increased demand for energy audits, something that was largely on the fringes more than a decade ago.
Now, there’s an increased demand for efficient, effective, affordable energy audits, giving business owners, governments, and individual citizens the information they need when they want it.
4 Reasons for the Increased Demand for Energy Audits
The demand for energy audits has been on the rise for much of the last decade, as the United States caught up to the international energy auditing push in European countries.
There are a few reasons why the demand has skyrocketed, and why it’s predicted to continue:
Increase in Regulations
Currently, 31 cities and three states have some form of energy benchmarking requirements on the books.
While individual jurisdiction requirements differ, laws range from requiring benchmarking in public and commercial buildings to requiring buildings to achieve performance targets or complete additional actions.
All federal buildings are required to conduct energy audits and benchmark energy use, no matter where they’re located.
These regulations only are expected to continue to expand nationwide.
This increase in regulations not only expands demand among businesses with locations where benchmarking is required, but also among other businesses trying to get ahead of the curve. Even though benchmarking may not be required where a business is located, leaders want to get a plan in place for their buildings in the event that regulations do come into play.
Additionally, multi-location businesses that are required to benchmark at some locations may want to create comprehensive benchmarking plans for all their locations, leading to more demand for energy audits.
A changing planet is at the heart of much of the push to perform energy audits and reduce energy usage.
With commercial buildings making up about 40 percent of the total energy consumption in the United States in 2018, reducing commercial use could impact the nationwide carbon output significantly.
Because of the focus on climate change and looking for ways to reduce emissions, concerned business owners are pursuing energy audits on their own.
Many of these business owners are looking for a quick, affordable solution for evaluating their energy use and finding ways to reduce consumption. This increases the demand for energy audits and software to make the energy audit process less cumbersome to busy business owners.
Utility Rebate Programs
While some municipalities are going the legal route and requiring energy audits and benchmarking, others are giving incentives to businesses and homeowners for making better energy decisions.
Utility rebate programs are available in a variety of states for everything from replacing aging, inefficient boilers and air conditioners to switching out light bulbs.
As business owners and homeowners continue to look for ways to make their dollars stretch farther, many are taking advantage of these rebate programs and installing new, more sustainable technology.
In many cases, installing new appliances or technology means getting an idea of just how much energy will be saved by the replacement. This means an energy audit before anything is switched out, followed by Measurement and Verification (M&V) after the new technology is in place.
Mortgage Companies & Banks
Consumers are demanding to know how much energy the buildings they’re living and working in use at a higher rate.
To help meet this demand, many mortgage companies, banks, and property developers require energy audits before a property even will be considered for a sale.
Energy-efficient buildings are far easier to market and can fetch higher asking prices, making an energy audit a positive financial decision for everyone involved in the sale.
3 Ways Energy Audit Software Can Meet the Increased Demand
With the increased demand for energy audits comes the requirement from building owners and homeowners that audits be faster and more affordable.
Here are three ways that energy audit software can help meet the growing need for energy audits:
Old energy audits were time-consuming.
They required pen and paper data and hand calculations. And if you transposed a number or couldn’t read your own writing, you had to go back and check everything again.
With energy audit software, you’re able to capture everything – data, photos, and measurements – all in the field with total accuracy.
Once you get back to the office, you can easily use the software to make calculations and comparisons, making creating a final report or developing an action plan quicker and easier.
Time is money, and the less time you spend conducting an energy audit, the more money you can make.
With energy audit software, you and your team can swiftly collect all the data you’ll need, spending less time in the field.
Quickly compare numbers, look at pictures, and make decisions on changes that need to be made because everything you need is right there in the software.
With audit software, the whole energy auditing process – from start to finish – is more efficient and effective, getting you back to work faster.
An energy audit isn’t cheap.
If you’re conducting a traditional pen-and-paper audit, you’re using up hundreds – even thousands – of dollars’ worth of man hours to collect and analyze the data.
Whether you’re hiring someone from the outside or using internal manpower, the cost of an energy audit before any changes are made can accumulate quickly.
By using energy audit software, you can more rapidly collect all the information you need to make your energy decisions, saving time and money.
A less expensive energy audit makes any major structural changes, such as new air conditioning systems or lighting, an easier sell because you’ve already saved money on the front end.
Energy Audit Software for Businesses
At EMAT, it’s our goal to make energy audits faster, easier, and less expensive, no matter how much square footage you’re auditing.
With EMAT Field Auditor, you can easily conduct energy audits anywhere you can take a tablet or mobile device. Capture photos, add data, and record measurements from the field, giving you all the data you need in less time.