ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 32

cause of many missed improvements: the number one problem in energy audits.

Standards
Although there is no national energy audit standard for commercial buildings, ASHRAE’s Procedures for Commercial Building Energy Analysis,3 if followed, would prevent many of the common problems identified in the survey. For example, an ASHRAE Level II energy audit includes requirements for monthly energy analysis (Procedures, p. 7), benchmarking (p. 7), building descriptions including “inventories of major energy-using equipment” (p. 8), safeguards against overestimating savings (p. 8), installed cost estimates (p. 8), expected life of the proposed new equipment (p. 9), descriptions of improvements (p. 9), and more. For residential buildings, a national energy audit standard has recently been developed.4 It, too, if followed, would prevent many common problems. It requires a building description that includes most of the 10 basic building description components that were sought in the survey (the exceptions being heating controls and motors/drives). Reference is made to the expected life of proposed improvements, attention to quality in specification of improvements, benchmarking of home performance, and other areas where problems were seen in this study. Many federal, state, and utility company programs have their own standards, and these programs increasingly require building descriptions, reports of utility bills by month, benchmarking, truing-up of models to bills and other precautions against overestimating savings, lifecycle costing, and both internal and external quality control. But the standards are uneven and, in many cases, are absent altogether. Harmonization of the standards might help in achieving more uniformly consistent energy audits.

• Strong quality control. The best energy audit programs advocate internal review by a supervisor of the energy auditor, quality control review by a program implementer, as well as spot checking of quality by a third-party quality assurance provider. • Adequate funding of energy audits and energy audit programs, to ensure adequate quality and quality control. • Measurement and verification of actual energy savings, and feedback to energy auditors about savings.

Conclusions
While this study was intended only to be a small-sample survey, and to be a preliminary assessment of quality in energy audits, the findings appear to indicate that there are many and diverse problems. Nine out of 10 common problems are evident in over 50% of energy audits, and the two most common problems appear in almost 80% of energy audits. The two biggest problems are unfortunately complementary. The most common problem is that too many opportunities are missed, and the second is that the identified opportunities are inadequately described, leading to a greater risk of no implementation and poor operation. Between these two problems, significant potential energy savings opportunities are being lost. If 80% of energy audits have possible improvements that are not even being evaluated, and 77% of energy audits have poor descriptions of the recommended improvements, we have a good explanation for why savings of well under 10% of pre-retrofit energy costs are commonly delivered, rather than the savings of more than 40% that have been routinely delivered in comprehensive and well-executed projects. Energy audit standards urgently need to be refined, harmonized, disseminated, and enforced. Training and accreditation also need to be improved, as does quality control. Despite approaching 40 years since the first energy crisis of 1973, we are still in what might be called the Wild West period of energy audits, with a lot of gunslingers out there, a lot of energy audits missing their mark, and few sheriffs in sight.

Best Practices
We have found that the following best practices in energy audits and large-scale audit programs can help prevent the problems identified in the survey: • Clear standards, either set by energy programs or, preferably, through harmonized national standards. • Strong energy audit templates. However, it is critically important that prior audits not be used as templates for energy audits, because the risk of mistakenly carrying forward material from prior audits is great. • Energy auditor training and accreditation. Training should not only cover energy estimating methods, but also technical aspects of improvements, estimating installed costs, and the importance of comprehensiveness. Training should account for predictable areas of weakness of the target audience. Engineers need more training in envelope improvements (insulation, windows, air-sealing); energy auditors from the contracting fields need more training in HVAC improvements, controls, and lighting.
32	 ASHRAE	Journal	

References
1. Jennings, et al. 1996. “Residential Lighting: The Data to Date.” Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory. 2. 2007 ASHRAE Handbook —HVAC Applications, Chapter 36, Owning and Operating Costs. 3. ASHRAE. 2004. Procedures for Commercial Building Energy Audits. 4. RESNET. 2006. Mortgage Industry National Home Energy Rating Systems Standards, Chapter 7, National Standard for Home Energy Audits. Residential Energy Services Network.

Acknowledgments
This work was supported by the Taitem Engineering CNEW Applied Energy Research Initiative. Thanks to Umit Sirt and Jan Schwartzberg for their review and comments.
ashrae.org	 	 February	 2011



ASHRAE Journal - February 2011

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of ASHRAE Journal - February 2011

ASHRAE Journal - February 2011
Contents
Commentary
Industry News
Letters
Meetings and Shows
Feature Articles
Thermal Coupling of Cooling and Heating Systems
10 Common Problems in Energy Audits
Hall of Fame Feature: History of the Changing Concepts in Ventilation Requirements
A Guide to Wireless Technologies
Building Sciences
Solar NZEB Project
Emerging Technologies
People
Special Section
InfoCenter
Commissioning
Products
Washington Report
Classified Advertising
Advertisers Index
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - ASHRAE Journal - February 2011
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - Cover2
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 1
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 2
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - Contents
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - Commentary
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 5
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - Industry News
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 7
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - Letters
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 9
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 10
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 11
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 12
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 13
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 14
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 15
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - Meetings and Shows
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 17
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - Thermal Coupling of Cooling and Heating Systems
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 19
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 20
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 21
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 22
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 23
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 24
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 25
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 10 Common Problems in Energy Audits
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 27
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 28
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 29
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 30
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 31
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 32
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 33
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - Hall of Fame Feature: History of the Changing Concepts in Ventilation Requirements
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 35
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 36
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 37
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 38
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 39
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 40
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 41
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 42
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 43
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - A Guide to Wireless Technologies
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 45
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 46
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 47
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 48
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 49
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - Building Sciences
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 51
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ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 54
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 55
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 56
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ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 58
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 59
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 60
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 61
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - Solar NZEB Project
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 63
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 64
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 65
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 66
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 67
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 68
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 69
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - Emerging Technologies
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 71
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 72
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 73
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 74
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 75
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - People
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 77
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - InfoCenter
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 79
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 80
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 81
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 82
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 83
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 84
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 85
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - Commissioning
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 87
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 88
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 89
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 90
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - Products
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - Washington Report
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - Classified Advertising
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 94
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - 95
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - Advertisers Index
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - Cover3
ASHRAE Journal - February 2011 - Cover4
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