In these testing times of increasingly rising energy bills, small changes to the efficiency of a commercial property can yield major savings in its outgoing costs.

But it’s difficult to know where to start. Should you look at other providers’ tariffs and see which aligns best with your company’s energy usage? Or should you gut your existing lighting system and shift everything over to LED? Or is it a combination of these things that will provide the best results?

The best thing you can do in these circumstances is consult a professional and request an energy audit. A well-orchestrated audit will signify exactly how much you are overspending by and how you can fix this.

What exactly is a commercial energy audit?

A commercial energy audit is a process that will help determine the most effective, efficient and low cost way of reducing a property’s energy consumption.

What happens during an energy audit?

During an energy audit, a specialised auditor visits a premises and assesses high energy consumption systems – lighting, air conditioning, heating and ventilation, refrigeration, and other key consumers. They will then take temperature readings, assess pressure and light levels, and conduct other tests to generate an accurate overall analysis of a property’s current energy usage. A good auditor will also sit down with the facility manager and examine recent energy bills and tariffs.

What happens after the audit?

The auditor will then produce a plan that provides a clear breakdown of how, when and where energy is currently being consumed in a building. This plan will suggest practical energy-saving measures to lower this, and provide information on more efficient technologies and how these compare to currently installed systems.

Eco-audit, part of SLS, are able to help you out with your initial lighting audit, provide a complete lighting asset register and prepare a full turnkey lighting solution in proposal format detailing your complete return on investment.

What can an energy audit really do?

An energy audit can help you visualise how much you’re going to save before you even save, and this is something that Australian companies are increasingly seeing the value in. Specialised Lighting Solutions (SLS) has used Eco-audit to save the environment thousands of tonnes of CO2 emissions and its clients thousands of dollars in reduced energy and maintenance bills.

An excellent example of this can be seen at Bendigo Hospital. Here, Eco-audit helped to achieve a power consumption reduction of around 76% per light fitting and cut overall electricity consumption by 11.13%. Similarly, a recent audit of the Chairo Christian school has cut 337 tonnes of CO2 emissions and estimated savings of more than $140,000 over a fifteen year period. What’s more, after retrofitting LED tubes into the Country Court of Victoria’s staff underground car park, SLS was able to help the court cut its energy consumption by 46% and realise a saving of $13,400 per year in the garage alone.