Energy Audit Steps 1
STEP 1- OCCUPANT INTERVIEW: This is a chance for the technician to get the building occupant/s involved from the beginning. Here the technician will explain the audit process, identify any occupant concerns or comfort issues, and begin the establishment of a trust relationship. Future sales are made or lost during the first few minutes of this interaction.
The technician will find out how many total occupants there are as well as establish appliance utilization for ventilation. Building ventilation rates are based on industry standards for the number of occupants, the size of the building and an allowable lower limit.
The technician should inquire about the structural integrity of the building. excessive moisture from internal and external sources has the ability to weaken the structural integrity of building materials and to cause unpleasant odors and health concerns for the occupants.
The technician will also inquire about how the occupant uses the building and its systems. How many hours a day are each space occupied? What are the thermostat settings, is the thermostat itself programmable and if so is it program to setback when the occupants aren’t using the building or sleeping? Is there supplemental heating and cooling used, if so why? Is there an adequate return air system allowed to operate in the home? Are there smokers present in the building, if so do they smoke indoors?
The last major thing the technician should do during the occupant interview is collect a billing and usage history from the occupant in the form of utility bills. This will help giving accurate assessment of payback from recommended upgrades. At least a years history is recommended if available.
This is a good picture of what should take place in the occupant interview step of the energy audit process. It will vary on a case by case bases and each auditor/technician will have their own process, but the basic information gathered should be the same.