Energy audit: why it is essential to understand consumption

Energy is a fundamental asset for our society, and it is important to monitor energy consumption in order to make efficiency improvements that bring both economic and environmental benefits, thus avoiding waste of resources and money. to enable these optimisations, Europe uses energy audits, an analysis procedure used to identify the real energy consumption of a building, home or industrial plant and to identify possible energy efficiency improvements. Here’s what to know!

What is an energy audit?

The term “audit” in Latin means “verification”: this helps us to understand that, when we talk about energy audit (or energy diagnosis), we refer to those verification operations to know and measure the energy consumption of a given building or plant, identifying possible efficiency improvement interventions aimed at reducing energy consumption, avoiding waste and safeguarding the energy environment, and finally saving costs in the bill. This operation is regulated by European Union directives and, in particular, by 2012/27/EU, where the Energy Audit is defined as: “a systematic procedure aimed at obtaining adequate knowledge of the energy consumption profile of an industrial or commercial facility or of public or private services, identifying and quantifying cost-effective energy saving opportunities and reporting the results”.

The energy audit is compulsory for certain groups of companies, which are obliged to have their plants assessed for energy consumption every four years: the so-called energy-intensive companies, i.e. companies with an energy consumption equal to or greater than 2.4 GWh in the reference year with a ratio between the actual cost of electricity and turnover of at least 2% and belonging to the manufacturing industry; companies with more than 250 employees and companies with a turnover of more than 50 million euros per year and more than 43 million euros in assets. Small and medium-sized enterprises can decide whether or not to carry out an energy audit on a voluntary basis.

How is an energy audit done?

In order to perform an energy audit, one has to turn to qualified and authorised figures, identified in Italy by Legislative Decree 102 of 4 July 2014, and found in structures such as Energy Service Companies (ESCOs) or a certified Energy Management Expert (EGE). In the energy audit carried out by these professionals, all the stages of the investigation are reported, the measurements made and finally the opportunities for improvement of the reference reality are proposed. The analysis phases can be described as follows:

  • Inspection of the plant and analysis of the data collected on energy consumption.
  • Identification of possible areas of energy efficiency improvement.
  • Data processing and drafting of results and proposals for improvements completed by estimates of possible energy savings and economic sustainability. This report is also uploaded on the ENEA portal. Procedures followed also in the case of voluntary energy diagnosis.

What does it take to do an audit?

As seen above, only a professional qualified by structures such as ESCOs and EGEs can perform an energy audit, as their diagnosis is also legally valid. Being aware of one’s consumption and understanding how to optimise it should be everyone’s prerogative to save money but also to contribute to limiting the emission of CO2 into the atmosphere.

The energy audit facilitates this path towards an understanding of one’s own possibilities in a comprehensive, technical and realistic way, in order to more easily identify possible improvements to be made. The energy audit, therefore, allows the definition of energy efficiency measures and operations, enables the optimisation of production processes and the implementation of the necessary systems for monitoring and measuring consumption. Thanks to its long experience in the field of energy efficiency, and to the partnership with illustrious realities such as Capstone Green Energy and Century Corporation, IBT Group is a leader in the realisation of energy efficiency projects sized according to the specific needs of each client with the use of the most innovative technologies, to support companies to be more competitive on the market and in the protection and respect of the environment.