What happens in an energy audit (free vs. comprehensive)?

We offer three levels of energy audits, as specified by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE). These levels depend on the depth of the audit and the degree of analysis in the report. Level 1 is offered free of charge, while Levels 2 and 3 are more comprehensive and are available for a fee.

How long does an audit take (free vs. comprehensive)?

The length of an audit depends on the size of your facility, your equipment, and your overall energy consumption. A typical Level 1 or free walk-through audit for a small business may take only 1 to 3 hours; you should receive your report in 1 to 2 weeks. (Note that Level 1 audits are sufficient for most small businesses.) A Level 2 audit often requires between a full day and several weeks to collect data; the report may take 1 to 4 months to complete, depending on the depth of analysis. Level 3 audits, meanwhile, typically proceed for multiple weeks, and the final report is completed within several months to a year.

What do I need to prepare for an audit?

Communication is key! Please tell us about any problems you’re having such as inefficient lighting, high energy bills, cold/hot rooms, or poor air distribution. That way, we can uncover the source of the problem and find a solution. In addition, we’ll ask to review at least one month’s worth of energy bills. Finally, please make sure we can walk through areas such as mechanical and closet spaces.

How do I read my energy bill?

Commercial electric bills are broken down into different charges such as demand (instantaneous demand for a certain amount of power, in kilowatts), actual usage in kilowatt-hours, and delivery and generation charges. The actual amount you pay per kilowatt-hour (your rate) is the total of your monthly charges divided by actual usage in kilowatt-hours.

What is the difference between fluorescent and LED?

Fluorescent lighting works by sending an electrical charge through mercury vapor in a glass tube, which exciled-flourescenttes the gas and creates light. Meanwhile, Light Emitting Diode (LED) lighting is a device that produces visible light when an electric current passes through the diode, also known as a chip. LEDs last much longer than fluorescent lighting, although both last 4 to 15 times longer than incandescent and provide the same amount of useful light at a fraction of the wattage.

What is the typical ROI for an energy efficiency project?

Energy efficiency projects help you reduce the energy you consume each month (kWh) and/or lower your monthly peak demand (kW), thereby lowering your utility costs. Oftentimes, these projects offer additional returns by reducing maintenance or replacement costs as well as providing better control and increasing the life of equipment. In addition, enhanced lighting has been known to boost productivity and sales, although the direct economic benefits are more difficult to measure.

Nonetheless, an energy efficiency project will improve your bottom line. It will pay for itself over time and can help generate the future capital needed for additional improvements. It is also an excellent hedge against rising energy costs. The typical return on investment (ROI) is 15 to 30%, although some projects may yield an ROI of more than 100% depending on existing equipment, current utility rates, and available incentives.

Who is eligible for rebates?

Most major utility companies in Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Delaware offer efficiency and rebate programs because they are mandated to reduce their customers’ energy usage. In addition, some state agencies provide rebates, and the federal government also offers programs with tax and other incentives toward certain projects. Chances are, if you pay a utility bill and pay your taxes, you qualify for a program!

How do I know if I qualify for an enhanced rebate program?

Some utility companies offer enhanced incentives for specific customers; these incentives can cover up to 80% of project costs! Whether your company qualifies depends on the state and utility territory you are in. For instance, you may qualify for Small Business rebates if you are a BGE, Pepco, or Delmarva customer in Maryland and if your monthly peak demand has been 60 kW or less over the past year. Or, you may qualify for enhanced incentives if you are a PECO customer in Pennsylvania and are considered a CNI entity – a charity, nonprofit, or institutional (i.e. municipal) organization. To see if you qualify for enhanced incentives, visit your utility company’s website or give us a call !

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