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Everything You Need To Know About Business Energy Audits

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Are you looking for ways to improve your business’s energy efficiency? Do you want to significantly reduce your energy costs?

Carrying out an energy audit on your business is the best way to achieve both of these things. It also helps your business to become more environmentally friendly and ensures it complies with government regulations.

We’re going to take an in-depth look at energy audits, including what they are, why you should carry one out, and how to go about it.

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What Is An Energy Audit?

Energy audits are a highly useful assessment of your business’s current energy usage. Your energy consumption is then compared to the energy needs of your business so that you can identify where energy wastage is occurring.

An energy efficiency audit examines everything on your premises that uses gas and electricity. Employee habits are also taken into consideration to see how they affect energy consumption.

Energy audits cover all aspects of your business including your equipment and even the structure of your building. The idea is to give you a thorough understanding of the way in which your business uses energy. This means that you can then bring in energy-saving measures to reduce your gas and electricity usage and save money on energy costs.

An energy audit usually assesses:

  • Heating and cooling systems
  • Energy-intensive activities
  • The lighting in your premises
  • Insulation
  • Computer usage
  • Hot water production
  • How energy efficient your employees are

Is There More Than One Type Of Energy Audit?

There are three different types of energy audits. The type that’s best for you will depend on the size of your business and how in-depth you want the energy audit to be.

The three types of energy audits below are for businesses. However, you can also carry out a home energy audit if you want to save money on your domestic energy bills.

Internal energy audits

An internal energy audit involves the business owner conducting the assessment themselves. It’s not quite as in-depth as an assessment from external energy auditors. Still, it’s a great way for small businesses to identify areas of wastage and implement energy efficiency upgrades.

The best way for you to conduct an internal energy audit is to use a checklist. This helps you to identify energy-saving opportunities and to pinpoint issues like inefficient lighting, poor insulation, and air leaks.

You need to make a note of any inefficiencies and then decide which ones will be the easiest to improve. Some of these issues will take a long time to address, but some will be relatively straightforward and quick fixes. Either way, you’ll be able to save energy and reduce your energy costs.

On-site energy audits

On-site energy audits are best for larger businesses where it would be difficult to conduct an assessment yourself. They involve an energy auditor visiting your premises to carry out a full review of your business’s energy consumption. They will then give you a detailed list of recommended energy conservation measures.

The auditor examines things like heating, lighting, manufacturing equipment, and all other systems that use a lot of energy.

Once this detailed energy audit is complete, the auditor will provide you with a plan for improving the energy efficiency of your business. It’s then up to you and your employees to implement this plan.

Phone-based energy audits

A phone-based energy audit is also conducted by an external energy auditor. However, the auditor asks you a number of questions about the energy consumption of your business over the phone rather than visiting your premises. The information you provide is used to create a list of energy-saving measures for your business.

The auditor will also usually price this plan so that you can budget for the changes that need to be made.

If you’re considering switching your business electricity supplier or business gas supplier, then your new provider may conduct free energy audits of your business. This will usually be a phone-based audit. Your new supplier does this to make sure that you choose the right tariff for your energy needs.

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There are many benefits to carrying out an energy audit on your business, including:

Reduces your energy costs

Perhaps the biggest benefit to your business is that an energy audit will help you save money on your energy bills. Reducing energy usage could be as simple as making sure computers are turned off when not in use. Or, it could mean updating old equipment for newer equipment with a higher level of energy efficiency.

Even if the changes you make cost money initially, by cutting energy usage you’re guaranteed to save money over time.

One of the most important aspects of an energy audit is making sure that your business has the best energy deal available. Another way of saving money is to compare business electricity and gas suppliers. You can then check that your current deal is the right one for you. If not, you should switch energy suppliers and start saving.

Increases compliance

An energy audit will help you to comply with the government’s energy regulations, like the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard. Failure to comply with these regulations can result in a fine for your business. In the worst-case scenario, your business may even be forced to close down.

Carrying out an energy audit means you’ll be able to create a plan so that your business complies with all of the regulations.

Reduces your carbon footprint

An energy audit allows your business to save energy and produce fewer carbon emissions. This can significantly reduce the impact your business has on the environment. By promoting sustainability, you may even increase the morale of your employees.

To become even more sustainable, you could install solar panels on your premises or move your business onto a green energy tariff.

Shields your business from increases in energy prices

If you reduce the amount of energy your business uses, you’ll be less exposed to increases in wholesale energy prices. Of course, your business won’t be completely protected, but you’ll be less affected if you use less energy.

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How Much Do Energy Audits Cost?

The cost of an energy audit depends on the type of audit you choose. If you’re a small business, then you could carry out your own internal energy audit. If so, this would be free as there would be no need for an external auditor.

For larger businesses, it’s best to use an external auditor. On average, this costs about 1% of the total amount of your energy bills. This is according to The Department of Energy & Climate Change.

Considering the amount of energy and money that you’ll save, energy audits are very cost-effective.

How To Conduct A Business Energy Audit

So, if you’ve decided to carry out your own energy audit, then there are a number of things you need to do.

The first step is to carry out an in-depth review of your energy usage and bills from the past 4 to 5 years. You need to identify any spikes or fluctuations in consumption and cost. You should compare the years against each other and see how they differ.

This is a great place to start your internal energy audit as it gives you a deep understanding of your current energy usage. Once this first part of the energy audit is complete, it’s then time to start identifying how you can increase your business’s energy efficiency.

This involves walking around the premises and making notes so that you can understand the ways in which your business uses energy. To do this, you’ll need a checklist that you can use during the energy audit. Below, we’ve compiled a list that you can use to make this easier.

Remember, before you start this part of the energy audit you need to assess any potential risks. Be sure to adhere to all safety protocols as you make your way around the premises.

So, let’s take a look at our internal energy audit checklist. As you walk around your premises, try to answer as many of these questions as possible.


  • What lightbulbs are you using? Are they incandescent or LED?
  • Is it easy to access all of the manual light switches?
  • Are lights consistently left on in unoccupied areas? This could include bathrooms and hallways.
  • Are all windows regularly cleaned so that you can make the most of natural light?
  • In areas that are used intermittently, could you install motion sensors for the lights?

Heating and cooling equipment

  • Do you carry out annual maintenance on your heating system?
  • Do your boiler or boilers need replacing?
  • Are your radiator valves adjustable?
  • Are any of the radiators covered by office furniture?
  • Is the heating consistently on in unoccupied areas?
  • Are you using timers for your heating systems?
  • Do any of your employees use electric heaters?
  • Do you regularly maintain your air conditioning system?
  • When the air conditioning is on, are doors and windows left open?

The building

  • Are any of the doors and windows leaking air?
  • How well insulated is the roof?
  • If you have loading doors, are they often left open?
  • Have you noticed any damp marks on ceilings or walls?
  • Are the windows double-glazed?
  • How long do automatic doors take to close?

Electrical equipment and employee awareness

  • How energy efficient is the electrical equipment?
  • How energy efficient are the fridges in your business?
  • How regularly is refrigeration equipment cleaned and maintained?
  • Are employees’ computers switched off at the end of the working day?
  • Are the lifts and escalators energy efficient?
  • Does your business display information to remind employees of energy-saving practices?
  • Are new employees being trained in energy-saving practices during their inductions?

Once you’ve completed this checklist, you can then start formulating a plan for how to increase the energy efficiency of your business. It’s best to start off with the things that are the easiest to change. This may include switching to LED lightbulbs, adjusting the layout of your office, or ensuring all computers are turned off at the end of the day.

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Final Thoughts

Conducting an energy audit may seem like a lot of hassle. Yet, it’s one of the best ways to increase your business’s energy efficiency and reduce energy costs. It will also help your business to reduce its carbon footprint and become more sustainable.

If you’re a small business, then you can use the steps we’ve laid out to carry out your own internal audit. For larger businesses, you’ll most likely have to bring in an external auditor to do it for you.

Another great way to save money on your energy bill is to compare energy suppliers and make sure you’re getting the best deal. Start your business energy comparison today and save money on your business energy bills.

Frequently Asked Questions

What tools do I need to carry out an internal energy audit?

When carrying out your own energy audit, you’ll most likely need several tools with you. The simplest tool you’ll need is a tape measure. This allows you to measure areas of the premises and is useful for working out how to adjust office layouts.

A professional energy auditor uses more complex tools that you need to be trained to use. These include flow metres, temperature and humidity loggers, infrared thermometers, power metres, combustion analyzers, power quality analyzers, and airflow measurement devices.

How long do energy audits take?

The amount of time it takes to carry out an energy audit depends on the size of your premises, your energy usage, and the type of equipment your business uses. Generally, it takes around 1 to 3 hours to carry out an energy audit on a small business.

What are the 4 stages of an energy audit?

A business energy audit is broken down into 4 steps:

  • Planning: formulating a plan of what to focus on.
  • Investigating: identifying the areas where energy can be saved.
  • Implementing: bringing in measures to save energy.
  • Sustaining: ensuring these measures are kept to in the long term.