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The difference between an energy audit & energy assessment

 

What is an Energy Audit?

An energy audit is conducted by an energy auditor and involves a detailed building inspection and analysis of how efficiently energy is being used. The aim is to identify all opportunities to reduce the amount of energy consumed without negatively affecting occupant comfort & operations. The formal methodology behind an energy audit is described in the Australian Standard AS 3598.

Advantages

  • Detailed analysis is normally provided.
  • If performed by an unbiased engineer - you get to learn about the pros & cons of each energy saving solution.

Disadvantages

  • Usually more costly than an assessment because more time is required by the auditor to extract better outcomes.
  • Can take longer to complete as calculations are required to determine payback periods.
  • Some auditors may review lighting only. Other components, such as airconditioning, heating, hot water etc are missed.

 

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What is an Energy assessment?

This is a simplified energy audit conducted by an assessor. It is most commonly offered to householders & small businesses. It involves a simple walk though inspection, that provides usually generic information and sometimes specific information about the energy efficiency of existing appliances and lighting. Energy saving tips are provided but tend to be based upon typical applications. If energy saving products are offered for purchase then the assessment becomes the justification for a biased marketing pitch.

Advantages

  • cheap, sometimes free if energy saving products are sold.
  • good way to learn more about new energy products.
  • effective results are obtained if you already know what you want.

Disadvantages

  • The site assessment is usually undertaken by someone who is not an energy specialist person and so they are unlikely to determine the exact cause of high electricity consumption for the particular building.
  • Solutions tend to be offered by a salesman with a very strong interest in selling their energy efficiency products. The cost effectiveness of some solutions may not be correctly communicated.
  • The assessor is often not technically trained or experienced, nor qualified in energy efficiency.