Energy Auditing
Energy Audits provide building owners and operators with recipes for lowering the building energy load and cost by analyzing all active and passive building components. The higher the energy cost of a building the more it can benefit from audits. Further, when active or passive building components are near the end of their life, energy audits can also provide valuable guidance for remodeling.

Energy audits are a proven method to survey existing buildings and prioritize solutions for repair, retrofit and renovation of commercial, residential, and institutional buildings. Extensive energy modeling software, along with test and measurement equipment allows CTI to accurately assess building efficiency before and after retrofits.  Important building performance characteristics include: air tightness of the envelope and ducts (Blower Door); insulation levels of the thermal shell; energy demand - as is and as modeled and as remodeled; carbon emissions; heat load vs. installed heating capacity; indoor air quality; humidity; surface temperatures (IR); condensation; domestic warm water heating; refrigeration; lighting; all plug loads; motors; pumps; etc.



Three considerations when planning energy efficiency improvements:
1.  Rare Opportunities: 
Some efficiency improvements can be implemented at any time, such as replacing incandescent with compact fluorescent light bulbs; air sealing leaks around buildings; etc. However, major energy retrofits work best when they coincide with major remodeling. For example: If the house siding and windows reach the end of their life span and need to be replaced anyway, it is easily justified to add insulation and install the best windows one can afford. These precious remodeling opportunities only come every 20 years or more - the extra thought and effort for the optimal remodeling design is warranted.

2. First lower the passive load, then use smaller active components:
It is easy to exchange an old furnace and A/C with a new unit and gain 10 - 20% in efficiency. The better approach is to first lower the building heating and cooling load with major improvements in insulation and air tightness. The new, lower heat load of the building will allow for smaller HVAC equipment, achieving multiple efficiency effects, possibly achieving more than a 50% reduction in energy demand.

3. What is the payback?
That is often the first question. A simple payback analysis of building investments via energy savings is not enough and not fully accurate. This calculation ignores the remaining asset value after payback as well as any non-energy benefit of the improvement: comfort; building quality and value; air quality; health; environment; etc. More accurate economic valuations are Net Present Value as well as a total life cycle impact analysis. Those must include adjusted discount rates which reflect the assumed energy cost increase over the life cycle. 

And yes, we will still calculate the simple payback as one of the measures.