Energy Assessments - ASHRAE LEVEL I, II and III
What's an Energy Audit in the First Place?
An energy audit is the very first step to making a commercial facility more energy efficient. It identifies where, when, and how energy is being used in a building. It can also identify areas where energy efficiency upgrades will produce energy savings.
Auditing your building’s energy usage is large step to building a solid plan for improving energy efficiency. If you go without an energy audit, you may be spending more money than you think on projects improving your building’s energy efficiency but, in fact, they really aren’t.
ASHRAE categorizes energy audits into three different levels and they differ based on how intense they are and what type of outcome comes from each level. ASHRAE helps you, so you should take some time and learn exactly how.
What does ASHRAE mean or stand for?
ASHRAE stands for the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air – Conditioning Engineers, and was founded in 1894. ASHRAE is a global society advanced through sustainable technology for the built environment. ASHRAE says, “The Society and its members focus on building systems, energy efficiency, indoor air quality, refrigeration and sustainability within the industry.”
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What is the difference between ASHRAE I, II, and III?
The ASHRAE preliminary audit involves the use of cost and development of the energy utilization index (EUI) of the building and also implies the analysis of historic utility. Compare the building’s EUI to similar buildings to determine if further engineering study and analysis are likely to produce significant energy savings.
ASHRAE LEVEL I is the most basic level of energy audits for assessment of buildings. It includes walk through analysis as well as reviewing current utility bills of the site. It provides a high level assessment to recognize key energy operations and usage.
Level I helps identify areas that require energy improvement solutions at low cost to minimize energy inefficiency. The energy auditor will offer solutions for energy improvements to businesses looking to switch to energy efficient systems.
ASHRAE LEVEL II conducts a thorough energy evaluation through data collection. It involves conducting a breakdown from energy sources to end use. Identification of energy consumption, wastage and efficiency is derived for each system.
Cost analysis for energy efficiency improvements and identification of capital projects that require maximum energy efficiency improvements at minimum cost.
Level III builds off from the Level II analysis and focuses on potential capital intensive projects. In keeping with the recommendations and improvements previously suggested a more in depth and intense data collection and survey in done for the whole building for the areas that need maximum improvements.
Level III analyzes the need and effect of sizable investments made for energy improvement solutions. It allows for pre- and post- analysis using energy modeling software and serious consideration at the capital improvements in the long run.
*Some ASHRAE audit definitions are from the ASHRAE Handbook of HVAC Systems.