Basic Facts and Process of Energy Audit in Facilities Management
Buildings and facilities consume energy, and these can be divided under various categories - production consumption and support functions of energy, and both are tracked on an annual basis through Energy Performance Index (EPI). The energy consumption (EPI) of production in IT companies or corporate facilities istracked through the UPS power consumption consumed for IT processes and other related functions. However, in the manufacturing or industrial segments,it is the consumption of actual production thataccounts for EPI calculation.Besides this, the consumptions through the support functions such as HVAC, lighting and other utility areasget tracked separately. The HVAC system and related air conditioning equipment consume 50% to 60% of the total energy consumption, the rest of the load consumption comes from the various facilities such as lighting, kitchen, and cafeteria equipment, among others.
The exact trend can be determined only through a thorough energy audit. The trend also changes to a major extent basis the property being owned or leased out and whether the whole campus belongs to a single occupier or multiple users who share the common loads like Chillers plants, Cooling towers, VRV systems, fuel consumption, pumping, STP, ETP and the ventilation system’s power consumption.
The energy audit begins with the decision by the top management to ascertain how to invest in the energy audit, thereby making cost saving efforts through long term energy conservation and by investing in energy efficient equipment or services either at inception or at later stages. The use of “Star Rated”equipmentas defined by BEE-Bureau of Energy Efficiency- India can be incorporated at the design stage or later stages. Currently, majority of the properties are designed for green building certifications like LEED, IGBC, GRIHA,etc.,automatically catering to a long-term vision in terms of their commitment to conserve energy and participate in the global energy conservation and net-zero mission.
The designated consumers defined by BEE-India asmentioned in the list below are already present under the energy conservation code lens to ensure they follow the ECBC(Energy Conservation Building Code) and PAT (Perform Achieve and Trade) schemes.Also, to have a stronger governance, it is mandatedto have a certified energy manager to ensure that the process is followed as per laid down standards and procedure of BEE (Bureau of Energy Efficiency India).
List of Designated Consumers/Industries currently mandated to have energy managers and participate in PAT schemes are as under.
• Chlor Alkali
• Iron and Steel
• Pulp and Paper
• Thermal Power stations
Currently, since facilities or commercial properties don’t fall under the designated consumer categories; there is no direct impact and pressures on their managements to ensure conservation through the defined processes.However, there are certifications like ISO-50001 that cover energy management, advocating undertaking of energy audits to comprehend the potential to save power, and adhere to the EPI standards being followed by the commercial real estate sector.
The energy audits shouldbe conducted in the following process.
• Define policy set and communicated by the management.
• State the representatives from operating teams and commercial teams.
• Share asset details and energy consuming equipment.
• Share energy consumption data of previous months to understand current trend.
• Measure energy consumptions through calibrated instruments by designated agencies or certified auditors.
• Ascertain the design vs actual consumption analysis.
• Calculate the actual vs benchmark EPI-Energy performance index.
• Calculate the energy saving potential.
• Advise on actions to save energy at no cost, low cost or at CAPEX investment levels.
• Calculate ROI/ pay backs on the suggestions made for further implementation.
• Implement improvements in overall EPI’s.
The performance measurement review in the energy audit plays a very crucial role as this accounts for measurement of energy consumption for major energy consumingequipment and devices as mentioned below.
• Overall energy consumption through main energy or grid power meters/energy bills
• Energy consumption of main power and distribution transformers
• Ascertain losses between grid and transmission systems
• Energy consumption of main LT site power panel and building and floor level power distribution
• UPS power consumptions
• Lighting Power consumptions
• Air conditioning systems, VRV, AHU’s, Chillers, cooling tower, primary /secondary pumps etc.
• Ventilation systems
• Water Pumping and distribution systems
• ETP and STP’s
• Fire pumps
• Kitchen/cafeteria/heating equipment
The energy audits need to be executed through certified energy auditing firms or certified energy auditors who are already prescribed by the BEE India.
The PAT scheme has been rolled out for designated consumers wherein the designated consumers can ensure their Performance on energy consumption, Achieve their targets, and Trade their savings with other consumers to save on cost.
In general, all the buildings conforming to NBC (National Building Code) conform majorlyto the ECBC (Energy Conservation Building Code)standards as well, thereby staying within the already defined benchmarks of energy consumption and its conservation.
BEEIndia has promoted the certification of “Energy Manager” and “Energy Auditor” for professional engineers in all industries and sectors. Byqualifyingfor the various stages of examination and understanding the following, the certification can be obtained.
• General Aspects of energy management and energy audit.
• Energy efficiency in thermal utilities
• Energy efficiency in electrical utilities
• Energy Performance Assessment for Equipment and Utility Systems.
The certified professionals can play a significant role in energy conservation at their respective facilities for both the designated and non-designated consumers.
Understanding of these basic facts of the energy audit process will create more awareness on the energy performance of buildings and equipment, thereby ensuring their optimum performance and eventually saving on the energy consumption costs by simultaneously implementing the green building standards.