Frequently Asked Questions
What is an “Energy Audit?”
Energy consumption is generally divided into several categories of lighting, hot water, heating- ventilation-air conditioning (HVAC), electricity distribution, oil/natural gas/propane usage. EQUIDEX Energy can conduct an “Energy Audit” of your facility to determine your energy consumption profile. Using this information, EQUIDEX Energy can design an energy conservation program that can substantially reduce costs while increasing efficiency and improving the environment.
The Energy Audit process is described in the following chart:
What is an “Energy Performance Contract (EPC)?:
Step 1: Collect Information
Step 1 of the Energy Audit involves gathering detailed information about:
- • Fuel and utility consumption (electricity, oil, gas, water).
- • Lighting, HVAC, hot water, insulation, building construction
- • Size, location, and directional orientation of the facility for solar, wind, or other alternative energy
- • Site use and hours of operation, i.e. residence, commercial office, factory, hotel, hospital, farm, or other
Step 2: Conduct a Preliminary Audit
Once information is collected and analyzed, the audit team evaluates utility rate schedules, alternative energy providers, fuel availability (natural gas, propane, oil, etc.), and electric capacity to generate a “load profile.” Although energy consumption information is available from electric and gas utility bills, it is more desirable to generate 15-minute “interval data” to determine energy consumption patterns throughout the day. In addition it is desirable via statistical techniques to determine the impact of weather and or any other variable such as occupancy in a hotel, and the correlation to any peak demand billing rates. In addition, some projects benefit from peak demand and load analysis that can be used to alter utility rates and design facility management schedules. Consumption and facility utilization can be measured right down to a single piece of equipment, a room, or even a set of light fixtures. Then, a preliminary “walk through” is performed, examining various subsystems to determine potential savings.
Step 3: “Agreement to Proceed”
If the audit concludes potential savings are sufficient to justify capital expenditures, a more in-depth Energy Audit must be performed to create a list of Energy Saving Measures (ESMs) or Energy Conservation Measures (ECMs). Once the list of ECMs is complied, an implementation plan and schedule must be created which includes the audit analysis, a list of potential contractors who can perform required tasks, and a timeline for completion. This becomes the final Audit Report upon which an “Agreement to Proceed” is based. The Agreement to Proceed defines the cost of this detailed study and further sets forth that if the customer decides to accept EQUIDEX Energy’s recommendations, the cost of the detailed study will be included in the overall savings program. If the customer decides not to accept EQUIDEX Energy’s recommendations, the customer agrees to pay for the study and may these recommendations with any vendor.
Step 4: Complete Detailed Energy Audit
Under the Agreement to Proceed, EQUIDEX Energy examines the entire customer as previously described. In many cases, EQUIDEX Energy may suggest conservation measures that are outside the traditional power arena, such as motor-friction reduction techniques for refrigeration or machinery. The detailed Energy Audit considers the widest variety of ECMs to determine economic and operational viability. Each ECM is proposed based on total Life Cycle Cost as well as its function within the operational “big-picture,” resulting in the final Audit Report.
Step 5: Energy Services Agreement (ESA)
The ESA defines terms and conditions for implementing ECMs. The ESA can be drafted in two forms:
a. Purchase Agreement
b. Energy Performance Contract
A Purchase Agreement is simply a “work for hire” contract whereby EQUIDEX Energy sells all equipment and services to the customer. An Energy Performance Contract is a combination of a shared finance and savings agreement, whereby EQUIDEX Energy covers costs of installing ECMs in return for participation in the savings
Step 6: Implement the ECMs
EQUIDEX Energy is actively involved in the implementation of the various ECMs. EQUIDEX Energy supplies the various contractors, sets up the ECMs, and then makes sure that the appropriate service and support are provided.