What is an Energy Audit?
An energy audit is the first step to assess how much energy a building or operation consumes and to evaluate what measures you can take to make your building or operation more energy efficient. A home energy audit can identify cost effective ways to improve the comfort and efficiency of your home; and, increasingly in the last several decades, industrial, commercial, and agricultural energy audits have exploded as the demand to lower expensive energy and other costs of doing business. These audits can evaluate buildings and operations for potential improvements.
The audit should include a written report estimating energy use, given local climate criteria, roof overhang, and solar orientation; and can point out problems with air leakage, inadequate insulation, inefficient appliances, heating and cooling malfunctions, indoor air quality issues, and duct system inefficiencies. The auditor’s report should also identify the most cost effective measures applicable to your building's or operation’s energy performance and provide you with a list of recommendations.
How to Find An Energy Auditor
There are several places where you can locate professional energy auditing services. The state or local government energy or weatherization office may help you identify a local company or organization that performs audits. Your electric or gas utility may conduct residential energy audits or recommend local auditors. Also check your telephone directory under headings beginning with the word "Energy" for companies that perform residential energy audits.
The VA Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy (DMME) has compiled a list of building auditors from multiple sources who do business in Virginia. This list is not exhaustive, and will be updated from time-to-time. Please note: DMME does not endorse any company so due diligence should be used in making your contractor choices. This list can be viewed at: Energy Auditors - . If you are a building energy auditor services provider and either wish to be added to or removed from this list, please notify Robin Jones of DMME, at: email@example.com.
Farm auditors can be found at: http://techreg.usda.gov/CustLookupTSP.aspx?fips=51165&categoryid=&categorytext=&serviceid=&servicetext= ; by contacting your local NRCS office: http://www.va.nrcs.usda.gov/ ; or at the NRCS TECHREG website at: http://techreg.usda.gov/.
Links to Internet Sites about Energy Audits
- From Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_audit
- From the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE): http://www.energysavers.gov/your_home/energy_audits/index.cfm/mytopic=11160
- From EERE’s page on “Professional Home Energy Audits”: http://www.energysavers.gov/your_home/energy_audits/index.cfm/mytopic=11180
- From the Virginia Energy Savers Handbook’s Chapter 1 on Energy Fitness, page 13: http://www.dmme.virginia.gov/DE/ConsumerInfo/energysaverhandbook.shtml
- From the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Energy Home Performance with Energy Star website: http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=home_improvement.hm_improvement_audits
- For information about a HERS (home energy rating system) Rater from RESNET (Residential Energy Services Network), please visit: http://www.natresnet.org/directory/raters.aspx
- For information about BPI (Building Performance Institute), please visit: http://www.bpi.org/content/home/index.php