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The What and Why of Energy Audits

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Written by Daniella

When you hear the word ‘audit’, you probably think of those audits in large companies. Maybe you already know some details on energy audits that are done to receive the energy performance certificate for your home, but are you also aware that the audit can produce very useful information on how to save on your energy bill and improve the efficiency of your home? Let’s get into this subject in the article below.

What are energy audits?

An energy audit is a detailed study carried out by a professional, and the specific data that is collected tells you something about the energy flows in a building, system, or sector.

The main objective of this type of study is collecting data to come up with a plan to reduce the consumption of energy. As a result, you will not only be able to save on energy costs, but also take better care of the environment and lower your energy bills.

Related article: Do You Need an Energy Performance Certificate For Your Rental Property?

Why opt for an energy audit?

An energy audit will mainly help you understand the energy usage of a space because of the many data that is obtained. You can then analyse a building’s energy behaviour, so to speak. The audit shows how much energy is really being used, and what consumes the most.

The report also highlights the state of the installations, and whether you need to change anything with regards to these installations.

A general analysis will tell you if installations are functioning and being used correctly, and what options are available to save energy inside the home or building.

Because of the detailed report you will be able to calculate the cost of every space and therefore reduce the risk of overpaying.

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When to consider an energy audit?

We would recommend an energy audit in case your energy consumption is really high and you suspect energy savings are possible. There is a quick return on investment on the costs of the energy audit itself, because you will be able to implement energy saving options immediately.

Take community costs for example: These costs are divided between all the apartments in a building, and you will be able to notice a quick change in energy consumption, thus earning back the investment and saving on energy bills that are part of community costs in the long run.

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What applies to houses, also applies to company buildings. If your company energy bill is (too) high, having a report on all the elements that have an influence on energy consumption can help improve not only the installations, but also signing the right energy contract according to real consumption levels.

For the audit to be a success, however, it must be carried out by a professional. If you have contracted an insurance agency or gestoria (administrative agency), the service is usually included in the general services that come with the property. If not, both agencies will at least be able to tell you what company to contact for the audit. ShBarcelona has integrated the energy audit in its general services for property owners.

Example of an energy audit

Although there are specific rules for audits, performing an energy audit generally comes down to the steps mentioned below. An experienced real estate agent in Barcelona can guide you through the process, which could not only result in considerable savings on short or long term leases, but also lead to an advantage when selling the property.

1. Making an appointment and collecting first data

This is the first and probably most important part of the energy audit. The experienced auditor will come to collect data in order to study it.

The first phase of collecting data takes place in the form of an interview, and during this phase the auditor can, for exampple, ask for electricity bills or installation plans of the property.

Having gathered the necessary paperwork, he will then visually inspect the property. Sometimes the auditor will ask for living and working situations, because living and working in one location can have a huge impact on energy consumption. The collected data will lead to a preliminary report.

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2. Audit and start of data collection via experiments

The next phase being carried out will consist of several researches originating from the preliminary report. It is important to state that these researches will need to follow current regulations in order to be valid. 

3. Final diagnosis of the situation

According to data that was collected in the previous phase a general conclusion will follow. Different parameters are consulted to know what energy contract suits the situation best and what price should be paid.

4. Analysis of possible improvements

With an analysis of all the information from phase one, two and three a list of focus points is given that will result in optimal energy consumption.

5. Final report and how to improve energy consumption

A list with specific suggestions concludes the audit. The auditor will show the difference between the old and new consumption numbers after having implemented the suggestions. Recommendations may vary greatly, from reducing contracted power, a change in energy tariff or energy supplier, installing a solar system, et cetera.

If you have a property in Barcelona, have the energy audit done by professionals!
Consult our website for more information on general property services.

About the author


Daniella enjoys everything the city of Barcelona has to offer. She writes, translates and loves discovering Catalonia and its beautiful nature.

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