The main purpose of an electrical audit is to identify energy inefficiencies and hazards, and find cost effective solutions. It can identify potential safety issues, overloading and protection against lightning and others that can result in serious problems.
The energy and safety electrical audits are the most common; each of which addresses different problems in a building as highlighted below.
Electrical energy audit
The energy audit is a systematic analysis and calculation of the energy used in a facility or household. It helps in identifying energy losses, hence, giving the building owner an opportunity to rectify defects or adjust usage.
The electrical audit analyzes the energy used by the equipment, showing what consumes more and at a particular time or day. With this information, consumers can take measures to reduce the energy usage significantly. Checking equipment such as boilers, refrigerators, air conditioners and others will let a consumer decide on whether they require replacements, upgrades or major service to increase their efficiency.
An audit report should provide the findings, recommendations and specifications of the replacements, upgrades and what to prioritize according to the urgency and availability of budget.
Electricity audits are carried out for different reasons. The findings are used to rectify, optimize or adjust what doesn’t seem right.
Benefits of an electrical audit
- Increasing the comfort: It helps to identify the problems in the electrical system, revealing the inefficiencies and deficiencies, hence, allowing the consumer to deal with the problems and enhance safety and energy savings.
- Saving on electricity costs: Identify equipment, systems, and processes that are energy inefficient
- Good for the environment: Using less energy translates to a better surrounding and less damage to the environment.
- Improves the resale value of the property: Performing an electrical audit helps the building or home owner to identify areas for improvement. These provide them to do modifications, upgrades, repairs or other tasks that improve the energy efficiency of the property and consequently its resale. In addition, fixing the defects prevents the prospective buyer from using them as a bargaining tool.
Electrical Safety audit
Consumers may use the electricity audits when they want to identify and minimize the risks caused by fires, electric shocks, accidents and more. In addition, they will do these to check on whether the installation complies with the standards codes and regulations. A safety audit is usually carried out for the following reasons.
- Identifying and eliminating the existing hazards
- Check compliance with the electrical codes and regulations
- See if best practices are followed
- Develop a cycle of the installation’s performance
The electrical audit process
There are both professional and Do-It-Yourself electricity audits. You can do your own audit to identify some of the most obvious things and defects. However, you will need a professional auditor for a more comprehensive process and better analysis reports as well as recommendations on how to deal with the existing challenges.
The professional will usually have more tools and a better understanding of the interrelationships between various components in the installation. Unless you are a technical person and have the time to perform the audit, the Do-it yourself is not for everyone and might not work for you. It is always recommended to consult a professional for a better and unbiased audit.
Choosing the right electricity audit process
The type of electricity audit depends on why you need it, budget, and desired accuracy of the audit information. In addition, the cost of the exercise compared to the energy savings is also a factor which determines the best method and scope.
While a walk through can provide a general overview of the electrical energy use, safety and provide a base for further improvements, a thorough electrical audit provides more comprehensive analysis.
The walk through is the less costly and quicker to perform, however, it does not provide as much information in regard to the energy efficiency, safety and specific recommendations for improvement.
You may choose the walk-through audit if your interest is first to identify the areas with the potential to save energy, after which you proceed with more analysis on the specific areas.
If you have a big budget to implement the energy saving measures, you can choose the investment grade audit.
Electrical audits are useful in identifying how the equipment and processes are using energy. It helps to identify the areas and appliances that are wasting the energy, hence enabling the consumer to make the necessary repairs, replacements or adjust the usage. In addition, the electrical audit can identify other issues such as overloading and potential safety risks.
The property owner can then choose what to address based on the electrical audit, available budget and the impact of the procedures after. While some of these require little capital for parts or labor, others will need huge investments. It is, therefore, necessary for the owner to weigh the cost and benefits when prioritizing the energy efficiency upgrades.