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Step 2: Establish a Baseline

You cannot manage what you cannot measure. Before you start to plan energy improvements in your organization, you must first know the types and amounts of energy your facility and equipment use.

Audits of Existing Buildings

Although you can measure overall energy consumption using utility bills, a professional energy management service provider can conduct a more detailed analysis through an energy audit.

  • Preliminary audits gather and analyse data on your facility's average energy consumption.
  • Walk-through audits involve a review of your facility's energy use profiles and overall assessments of energy-consuming systems and equipment.
  • Engineering audits and feasibility studies are the most complex energy use studies. These can provide detailed analyses of your facility's energy use profiles, as well as full descriptions of building systems, operations, levels of performance and potential for savings.

Detailed descriptions of audit types can be found in the publication Audit Standards Guidelines.

Energy Models of New Buildings

If you are designing a building, free software can help you determine how much energy you are likely to use in the completed building.

Equipment Energy Use Calculations

Measure the energy use of your current plug-loading equipment, such as office equipment, portable lighting, transformers, commercial refrigerators, clothes washers and residential HVAC (heating, ventilating and air-conditioning) equipment, using the ENERGY STAR® Simple Savings Calculator. You can estimate the energy consumption of your motors with CanMOST – The Canadian Motor Selection Tool.

Set Your Goals

Once you know how much energy you are using, you can then calculate how much you can save. Many organizations prepare an Energy Management Plan (EMP) that summarizes current energy use and planned energy savings.

Next: Step 3: Compare with other facilities