energy audit??

First, I’m not Resnet, BPI or anything energy certified, but I have a good friend that owns two commercial properties. Both are apartment complexes built from the same plans and by the same contractor.

He asked my thoughts on utility issues with the two. One uses significantly more energy than the other. Now he agrees that could be partially due to tenant issues, but he thinks there might be something else causing the problem. He wants me to look around and see if I can detect or see possible causes.

My problem is that I have no thermal camera, blower door or other specialized equipment, just basic HI tools. This is most likely a pro bono gig and just a favor for a friend. Thoughts on getting to the root of this usage issue? No- moving everyone out into the street for a month to investigate nominal usage is not a possibility! NEXT…thanks for any thoughts or help!

First, in determining the “usage” issue, you need to look at the last year of bills for both units. Is the difference in the “usage” issue seasonal o0r has it most to do with the baseline electrical services?

The difference can be as simple as the fact that one unit is using brand new Energystar refrigerators and the second unit is using all 1970 models.

There can be disconnected, leaking, or blocked ducts in the high use unit…or a combination of a variety of issues that are all visible to the naked (and trained) eye.

If you cannot find it, recommend that he have a test done by a certified energy auditor who will perform a more detailed analysis and isolate the problem.

Very good thoughts…thanks! I’ll give it a good visual walk through and see if I can locate HVAC or appliance issues…they were built about the same year, so appliances should be similar, but I’ll look in to it.