A deep energy retrofit can greatly reduce your building’s electricity and fuel consumption. However, a building retrofit is a major investment, and the results achieved will depend on the combination of energy efficiency measures selected for the project. Each building has unique site conditions and energy consumption patterns, which means the same measures can achieve major savings in one property and minimal savings in another one.
With a professional energy audit, you can identify the building upgrades that will achieve the highest possible savings. From a financial standpoint, these are the energy upgrades that maximize the savings per dollar invested upfront. Energy savings also reduce your building’s greenhouse gas emissions, especially when you’re reducing the consumption of fossil fuels.
Many energy upgrades are analyzed as individual projects, even when several measures are being considered for the same building. Also, the savings are often estimated with “rules of thumb”, or using a typical savings percentage provided by manufacturers. However, this approach has many limitations:
- Since energy upgrades are analyzed separately, the interactions between them are ignored. This means the estimated energy savings are often inaccurate.
- Rules of thumb and typical percentage savings may not apply for your property. This approach will often overestimate or underestimate your actual energy savings.
On the other hand, a professional energy audit analyzes your building as a single system with interacting parts. Consultants use energy modeling software and other advanced tools to predict your savings more accurately, allowing better investment decisions. With this approach, consulting engineers can identify the most effective energy upgrades for your building, while ruling out those that offer minimal savings relative to their cost.
An energy audit carried out by professionals will also help you qualify for incentive programs, which reduce the cost of your project. In some cases, you can combine financial incentives from multiple sources and reduce your out-of-pocket costs to zero.
NY Engineers can offer an ASHRAE Level 2 Energy Audit for your building while helping you qualify for incentives. Our expert engineers can also file and approve retrofit projects with the local building department without delays. If you’re a building owner in New York City, a professional energy audit can also help you meet multiple local laws, such as the following:
- Local Law 84 of 2009: Energy and water consumption benchmarking
- Local Law 87 of 2009: Mandatory energy audits and retro-commissioning
- Local Law 33 of 2018: Building energy grades
- Local Law 97 of 2019: Emissions reduction law
According to a study by the Rocky Mountain Institute, the costs of energy retrofits can range from $25 to $150 per square foot of building space. By getting a professional energy audit first, you can ensure that this investment is not wasted. You can also qualify for financial incentives to cover your project costs.