If you’re hoping to save money on your energy bill–one of the highest ongoing operating expenses for many schools and other facilities–an energy audit is one of the best ways to help you meet your goals. An energy audit can help change the way your entire school runs and help you implement changes that will lead to substantial savings.
What’s an energy audit?
An energy audit takes place when an auditor comes into your school. They’ll examine how you’re using energy throughout the building, from your heating and air unit to your lights, and determine what cost-saving measures you can implement to help save on your energy budget long-term.
What do auditors look for?
During an energy audit, auditors will look at every aspect of the school’s energy usage. There are several things that they’ll be sure to check out, including:
- Your HVAC unit. Is it well-maintained and working at peak efficiency? If not, an auditor may be able to recommend tactics that will help maintain it and increase your overall savings.
- Your lights, both inside and outside the building. Are you using the most efficient lights available? Are you taking advantage of natural lighting in classrooms, or are windows consistently blocked off and unusable? Outside the building, they’ll examine security lighting to ensure that it offers the deterrent you need while still offering energy efficiency.
- Any cracks, crevices, and drafts around your building through which energy could potentially be lost. Schools, particularly old buildings, are often drafty. By closing off those drafts, you can substantially decrease your heating costs in winter and cooling costs in summer.
- Your energy control methods. Have you considered installing smart thermostats throughout the school so that you aren’t pouring out heating costs while there’s no one in the building on nights, weekends, and over breaks? What about motion detector lights that shut off when no one is in a classroom or conference room?
- Your computers, printers, copy machines, scanners, fax machines, and other office equipment. Schools are filled with equipment that can quickly become a drain on your resources. Are teachers turning off their computers at the end of the day, or are they left on with only the monitor turned off? Across the building–and particularly across your district–this can lead to substantial cost savings.
What are the benefits of an energy audit?
Conducting an energy audit in your school has a number of key benefits. First and foremost, it will show you where you have the potential to waste energy and what you can do to change it. Next, it will let you know what methods and strategies you can use to engage everyone in the building in energy-saving measures. When you can get faculty and students on board, you’ll be amazed by the progress you can see on your energy bill! In some schools, it’s possible to save thousands of dollars a year simply by implementing the suggestions made during your energy audit.
In many cases, auditors will also help you rank the potential improvements. They’ll let you know which issues are a high priority–for example, an HVAC unit that has leaks that could potentially be dangerous–and which ones can help you save money, but aren’t as immediately necessary. Energy auditors can also help you break down some of the estimated costs of implementing improvements.
Energy audits are relatively straightforward experiences that can transform the way your school uses energy and significantly reduce your energy costs. If you’re ready to bring in an auditor for your school and experience those great energy savings, contact us today to learn more about what we can offer.