Energy Audit is the first step towards Energy Conservation & Energy Efficiency. In fact Energy Audit itself may consist of 3 steps i.e. Preliminary Analysis, Walk-through Energy Audit (aka Express Energy Audit) and Detailed or Comprehensive Energy Audit.
The steps may sometimes be combined but some Companies may skip a step or in some cases combine them as well. Express Energy Audit is used by Companies to only estimate the potential energy saving in the plant. Although finding out visible areas of savings are possible through Express Energy Audit. With regards to Detailed Energy Audit., it definitely digs in deeper to identify all possible energy saving opportunities within the plant. A well-documented report with recommendations backed by data is the outcome of detailed Energy Audit. Do visit our website to know more about each type of Energy Audit.
There are definite reasons that Energy Audit is not viewed as a wholesome exercise by many. The variety of reasons are at operational level as well as based on past experience by a few of the decision makers who have been involved in previous such exercises -
- Misconception that Energy Audit in itself would save a lot of Energy.
- Energy Audit being carried out by inexperienced and incompetent teams.
- Recommendation implementations not taking place resulting in no conclusive outcome of Energy Audit.
- Recommendation implementations not approved despite good savings potential.
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With various factors considered it is sensible to assume that an Energy Audit in itself will not save significant energy. Although Energy Audit itself does save some energy and the savings can be in the range of 6-8% achieved by changing certain operational parameters, visible areas of saving by bench-marking, ergonomic factors, enhanced awareness etc.. In case of purely Electrical Energy Audit the savings can be on the higher side of range band through the Energy Audit itself. To achieve significant saving retrofits and equipment replacements are needed as per the recommendations mentioned in the Energy Audit Report. However to obtain appropriate recommendations for operational changes, retrofits and replacements inline with the process and operational requirements is what Energy Audit is all about.
In a nutshell Energy Audit is the first crucial step in the direction of Energy Conservation & Energy Efficiency Project. If carried out in a systematic approach by experts in this field - energy saving can be expected as an outcome of the exercise. The other outcome of course is the report which lists out the recommendations. With ever-rising Energy Costs it is imperative for Industrial Plants to carry out periodic Energy Audit and implement the solution as well to achieve greater results.
Energy Conservation Project generally follows the below cycle -
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Another interesting point is about measuring the savings and if savings have actually been achieved in a plant after an Energy Audit. In general a comparative analysis of energy consumption before and after audit will not reveal true results as energy consumption generally is not constant for any given plant due to seasonal changes, market demand for the product (being manufactured), internal factors etc. Specific Energy Consumption is the term which is used to denote the Energy required or Energy invested (Electricity, Coal, Diesel, Fuel etc.) in producing one unit of a product. With a setup having more than one product the SEC for each of the product needs to be calculated and will give a true indication whether an Energy Conservation and Energy Efficiency has been achieved or not.
With an aim to reduce Specific Energy Consumption an Energy Audit should not be carried out in isolation but should be looked at as part of an overall Energy Conservation Project and hence Specific Energy Consumption (SEC) or Specific Power Consumption (SPC) should be closely monitored as an ongoing practice to achieve good results. It is known fact that energy saving is not a destination but a journey.
Updates of Oct 2019
Based on our past experience a Company can save anywhere between 5% to 12% on Energy Bills. This includes - Electricity Bill, Fuel Bill (Diesel, F.O., Coal, LPG etc.). For a typical plant this could mean savings of 2% to 5% on it's production costs.
The range of energy saving is based on our past experience of 300+ Energy Audits and is based on practically implementable solutions. We are in the process of documenting energy savings achieved through energy audit assignments by preparation of a Comprehensive Report with data for a variety of Industries. For now you might find it useful to download our Energy Audit Case-Study for a recent assignment. The customer was able to save 10% Energy and consequently 2.5% on production costs.
Download the Energy Audit Case-Study to know more about details of the Energy Audit, our approach, findings, recommendations etc. for this plant.
If you are planning for Energy Audit, there are certain things that you should be aware of. Why not check our blog post on the subject - Energy Audit planning - things to know !