The American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) has developed standards and guidelines for performing energy audits on buildings. ASHRAE has three levels of energy audit that increase in terms of the depth, scope, and detail of the audit. Many energy consultants and auditors in BC have adopted ASHRAE’s standards and procedures for commercial building energy audits. The three levels of energy audit are described below:
- ASHRAE Level 1 – The Level 1 audit is a simple audit that involves a basic walk-through assessment, review of utility bills and other applicable operating data, and interviews with operations staff. This basic evaluation is designed to identify glaring energy problems. With the detail of this audit, low-cost upgrades are proposed, energy efficiency projects can be prioritized, and it is determined if a more detailed audit is necessary.
- ASHRAE Level 2 – The Level 2 audit builds on the level 1 analysis with more detailed energy calculations and added financial analysis of proposed energy measures. This level of audit uses utility data over a longer period of time so that the auditor can better understand the building’s energy use. The financial analysis at this level of audit is used to build the business case for implementing energy measures.
- ASHRAE Level 3 – The Level 3 audit builds on the Level 2 audit by doing a more in-depth analysis of energy use in the building. This can include sub-metering of major energy systems. The added level of detail in the analysis of the existing building and proposed energy measures means that cost and savings have an increased level of accuracy. This level of detail can provide higher quality, more accurate data, which is valuable major energy projects that can be capital intensive.