Energy Assessments and Audits

An energy assessment (or audit) is an essential step in any project that aims to realise energy savings. An energy assessment reveals where, when, how and why energy is consumed in an organization and identifies ways to optimize this consumption. Energy Cybernetics provides the following types of energy assessments/audits for industrial, commercial and residential sectors:

Scoping energy audits

The purpose of a Scoping Energy Audit is to (quickly) determine whether it is worthwhile to investigate a site or an opportunity in-depth. Once completed, a rough business case can be compiled which can be used to decide whether to proceed or not.

An Energy Cybernetics energy scoping audit typically requires a site walk-through by one of our energy management specialists accompanied by a representative of the client company. No metering or logging equipment is installed for a scoping energy audit.

Basic energy audit

A basic energy audit expands on the scope of the energy scoping audit. Following a basic energy audit, Energy Cybernetics will deliver a clear picture of the energy usage patterns in a client's organisation. Meters or loggers will be installed to collect energy consumption data. Low-hanging fruit (quick-hits) are often apparent after a basic energy audit report is delivered.

Feasibility Energy Audit

A detailed feasibility energy audit expands on the scope of a basic energy audit. It eliminates technical uncertainty regarding the solutions identified before the implementation phase of an energy efficiency initiative starts and quantifies any technical risks so that informed decisions can be made.

An Energy Cybernetics detailed feasibility energy audit delivers a detailed report on:

  • The energy opportunities that have been found to be technically feasible, i.e. energy interventions that can be implemented
  • Identifies the technical uncertainty or risk regarding the opportunities before implementation.
  • Deliver a risk management plan to eliminate and/or quantify any technical risks – this includes aspects such as maintenance requirements, ability to integrate with existing systems, availability of replacement parts, etc.
  • Ranking of the technical risks of the selected opportunities in the order of preference.

Investment grade energy audit

An investment grade energy audit extends the scope of a detailed feasibility energy audit to eliminate financial uncertainty regarding the solutions identified as well as quantifying any financial risks. Such an audit report includes:

  • A comprehensive life-cycle cost approach for each of the opportunities identified. This provides a much better picture of financial viability than simple measures like payback periods.
  • Scenario planning - these are typical "what if" scenarios like, what if the tariff increases by 5%, 10% more (or less) than anticipated? What if interest rates goes up by x%, down by x%? What if the savings achieved is y% more or less than anticipated? What if production targets are changed?
  • Financial uncertainty or risk is identified before implementation.
  • A risk management plan to eliminate these financial risks.
  • Ranking of the selected opportunities in order of preference from both a technical and financial perspective.
  • Cost/benefit analysis is provided of the opportunities.
  • An estimated life-cycle cost for each of the qualifying opportunities.

A completed investment grade energy audit provides the client with:

  • A clear picture of the energy use in the organisation.
  • An accurate benchmark of historical consumption.
  • The various options available to reduce or improve energy consumption.
  • A complete technical risk analysis of each of the options identified.
  • A complete financial analysis and business case for each of the options identified.

Baseline energy audit

The purpose of a baseline energy audit is to establish a credible, calibrated baseline for the resource or energy consumption of a particular site or a specific process within a site. It is usually required when performance contracts are used - i.e. where there is an agreement in place where savings are shared between parties or where one party is required to deliver a specified level of performance. In such cases an independent, credible party able to develop, maintain and monitor the baseline and quantify the impact goes a long way towards eliminating potential conflict situations.

A baseline energy audit answers the following questions:

  • What would my consumption have been under these conditions (production, climatic, etc.) without (prior to) the intervention?
  • Consequently, what am I really saving due to the intervention?

Baseline Energy Audit establishes the reasons for variation (i.e. the drivers of energy consumption) so that future impact analysis can be made relative to what the consumption would have been under normal conditions prior to an intervention. An intervention is typically an energy optimisation project but could also be changes made to the plant or process.

Once a baseline is established, any future improvements or changes can be measured against this baseline to determine the impact made by the improvement irrespective of changes to production volumes, climatic conditions, etc.

Establishing a credible, verifiable and independent baseline according to internationally (and locally - SABS 50 010) recognised standards is critical in order to later claim the credits for the impact achieved. This may apply to environmental compliance, reaching Energy Accord targets or to meeting company specific targets.