As businesses look for ways to operate in a more energy-efficient way and reduce their carbon footprint, energy audits have become an important tool in identifying energy-saving opportunities. A business energy audit assesses the energy consumption of the business and the aim is to identify areas where energy usage can be reduced.
When it comes to any form of audit, preparation is key. So, in this article, we provide some tips on how to prepare for a business energy audit to help SMEs get the most out of their audit and save money on their energy bills.
Before diving into how to prepare for an energy audit, let’s look at the benefits of an energy audit for a business. Carrying out a business energy audit reduces risk, saves both energy and money and enhances the reputation of the company.
By identifying energy-saving opportunities, businesses can save money on their energy bills and improve their bottom line. Furthermore, it can also help companies to reduce their carbon footprint and goes a long way in demonstrating to their employees, customers and indeed competitors that they believe in the importance of tackling the global issue of climate change.
So now that you know how a business energy audit can benefit a business, read on for some tips on preparing for one.
The first step in preparing for a business energy audit is to plan. A good starting point is to review the business’s energy consumption patterns by analysing the energy bills from the previous 12 months. This will help to identify areas of high energy consumption throughout the year and will give the auditor a better idea of where to focus their efforts during the audit.
Businesses should also gather any relevant documentation such as building plans, occupancy schedules, and equipment manuals that the auditor may need to review during the audit.
Walking through the premises of a business to assess the building’s energy usage is the next stage of the preparation. Identify areas where energy is being wasted and make a list of any equipment that needs to be upgraded or replaced. Lighting is often a key area for potentially saving energy, so it would be wise to consider replacing any old or inefficient lighting with LED lighting.
Making a switch to LED bulbs could cut lighting costs by up to 80%. Some other areas to focus on would be the insulation of the building and the quality of the windows, as well as air conditioning and ventilation systems.
Saving energy is a team effort, so SMES need to involve their employees when preparing for a business energy audit. Discuss the importance of energy efficiency with the team and encourage them to make simple changes that will help to reduce energy consumption, such as turning off lights when leaving a room or shutting down equipment when not in use.
By emphasising how each of their combined efforts can make a huge difference in the fight against climate change, the team will feel united, thus creating a culture of energy efficiency within the business. And of course, a successful audit will have a positive impact on team morale.
As the saying goes, sometimes you have to spend money to save money. When it comes to making a business more energy efficient, more often than not, some investment in the future will be needed.
Be prepared to have a fund ready for any upgrades or installations that will be required following the audit. The SEAI offers grants for certain types of energy upgrades, so check out their website to see if one applies to your business.
A business energy audit is an important tool for SMEs to identify energy-saving opportunities. One way to reduce energy consumption and have a positive result in an upcoming energy audit is to install solar PV panels on your business premises.
At Alternative Energy Ireland, we offer commercial solar PV panels that can help your business save money on your energy bills and demonstrate to your auditors and customers that you believe in the power of change for the future of our planet.
Get in touch with us today to find out how our solar PV panels can help move your business into a greener sphere and enhance your reputation as an organisation committed to real change.
Make sure to also browse our blog for more updates and information on other energy-saving opportunities for SMEs across Ireland.