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Overwhelmed? The X-Factor is You

We feel your pain, a 6-question assessment.

We’re moving into the homestretch of a year that has felt challenging, stressful, and even overwhelming for most of us – in the workplace and beyond. As you prepare for 2024, how do you find calm in the center of the storm that continues to rage around you?

Click the icons below as you answer these six questions:

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1. I get at least 7 hours of sleep.

2. I take regular breaks during my workday.

3. I stay calm and positive at work even when demand is high.

4. I spend enough time fully disconnected from work.

5. I regularly focus on one thing at a time without getting distracted.

6. I successfully balance taking care of others with taking care of myself.

If you or the people in your organization answer “no” to 3 or more of these questions the Sustainable Resilience in a World of Overwhelm workshop could change your life.

Measurable Results for Forward-Thinking Companies

For nearly two decades, The Energy Project has worked with organizations to improve employee well-being, fuel engagement, and drive productivity.

Our programs help leaders become Chief Energy Officers and build company-wide growth cultures.

For nearly two decades, The Energy Project has worked with organizations to improve employee well-being, fuel engagement, and drive productivity. Our programs help leaders become Chief Energy Officers and build company-wide growth cultures.

energy project audit

For nearly two decades, The Energy Project has worked with organizations to improve employee well-being, fuel engagement, and drive productivity. Our work helps leaders become Chief Energy Officers enabling them to sustainably build a company-wide culture of growth.

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Fuel for Thought

Why we glorify overwork & refuse to rest.

None of us want to admit that we would rather feel overwhelmed than underwhelmed. In fact, we often experience a greater sense of our own value when we’re working than we do when we’re not.

Read more >

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– Geoffroy van Raemdonck Chief Executive Officer, Neiman Marcus Group

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Energy Audit Types and Methodology

3.2energy audit: types and methodology.

Energy Audit is the key to a systematic approach for decision-making in the area of energy management. It attempts to balance the total energy inputs with its use, and serves to identify all the energy streams in a facility. It quantifies energy usage according to its discrete functions. Industrial energy audit is an effective tool in defining and pursuing comprehensive energy management programme. As per the Energy Conservation Act, 2001, Energy Audit is defined as “the verification, monitoring and analysis of use of energy including submission of technical report containing recommendations for improving energy efficiency with cost benefit analysis and an action plan to reduce energy consumption”.

3.2.1Need for Energy Audit

In any industry, the three top operating expenses are often found to be energy (both electrical and thermal), labour and materials. If one were to relate to the manageability of the cost or potential cost savings in each of the above components, energy would invariably emerge as a top ranker, and thus energy management function constitutes a strategic area for cost reduction. Energy Audit will help to understand more about the ways energy and fuel are used in any industry, and help in identifying the areas where waste can occur and where scope for improvement exists.

The Energy Audit would give a positive orientation to the energy cost reduction, preventive maintenance and quality control programmes which are vital for production and utility activities. Such an audit programme will help to keep focus on variations which occur in the energy costs, availability and reliability of supply of energy, decide on appropriate energy mix, identify energy conservation technologies, retrofit for energy conservation equipment etc.

In general, Energy Audit is the translation of conservation ideas into realities, by lending technically feasible solutions with economic and other organizational considerations within a specified time frame.

The primary objective of Energy Audit is to determine ways to reduce energy consumption per unit of product output or to lower operating costs. Energy Audit provides a “ bench-mark” (Reference point) for managing energy in the organization and also provides the basis for planning a more effective use of energy throughout the organization.

3.2.2 Type of Energy Audit

The type of Energy Audit to be performed depends on:

  • Function and type of industry
  • Depth to which final audit is needed, and
  • Potential and magnitude of cost reduction desired

Thus Energy Audit can be classified into the following two types.

  • Preliminary Audit
  • Detailed Audit

3.2.3 Preliminary Energy Audit Methodology

Preliminary energy audit is a relatively quick exercise to:

  • Establish energy consumption in the organization
  • Estimate the scope for saving
  • Identify the most likely (and the easiest areas for attention
  • Identify immediate (especially no-/low-cost) improvements/ savings
  • Set a ‘reference point’
  • Identify areas for more detailed study/measurement
  • Preliminary energy audit uses existing, or easily obtained data

3.2.4 Detailed Energy Audit Methodology

A comprehensive audit provides a detailed energy project implementation plan for a facility, since it evaluates all major energy using systems.

This type of audit offers the most accurate estimate of energy savings and cost. It considers the interactive effects of all projects, accounts for the energy use of all major equipment, and includes detailed energy cost saving calculations and project cost. In a comprehensive audit, one of the key elements is the energy balance. This is based on an inventory of energy using systems, assumptions of current operating conditions and calculations of energy use. This estimated use is then compared to utility bill charges. Detailed energy auditing is carried out in three phases: Phase I, II and III.

Phase I - Pre Audit Phase

Phase II - Audit Phase

Phase III - Post Audit Phase

A Guide for Conducting Energy Audit at a Glance

Industry-to-industry, the methodology of Energy Audits needs to be flexible.

A comprehensive ten-step methodology for conduct of Energy Audit at field level is presented below. Energy Manager and Energy Auditor may follow these steps to start with and add/change as per their needs and industry types.


Phase I –Pre Audit Phase Activities

A structured methodology to carry out an energy audit is necessary for efficient working. An initial study of the site should always be carried out, as the planning of the procedures necessary for an audit is most important.

Initial Site Visit and Preparation Required for Detailed Auditing

An initial site visit may take one day and gives the Energy Auditor/Engineer an opportunity to meet the personnel concerned, to familiarize him with the site and to assess the procedures necessary to carry out the energy audit.

During the initial site visit the Energy Auditor/Engineer should carry out the following actions: -

  • Discuss with the site’s senior management the aims of the energy audit.
  • Discuss economic guidelines associated with the recommendations of the audit.
  • Analyse the major energy consumption data with the relevant personnel.
  • Obtain site drawings where available – building layout, steam distribution, compressed air distribution, electricity distribution etc.
  • Tour the site accompanied by engineering/production

T he main aims of this visit are: -

  • To finalise Energy Audit team
  • To identify the main energy consuming areas/plant items to be surveyed during the audit.
  • To identify any existing instrumentation/ additional metering required.
  • To decide whether any meters will have to be installed prior to the audit eg. kWh, steam, oil or gas meters.
  • To identify the instrumentation required for carrying out the audit.
  • To plan with time frame
  • To collect macro data on plant energy resources, major energy consuming centers
  • To create awareness through meetings/ programme

Phase II- Detailed Energy Audit Activities

Depending on the nature and complexity of the site, a comprehensive audit can take from several weeks to several months to complete. Detailed studies to establish, and investigate, energy and material balances for specific plant departments or items of process equipment are carried out. Whenever possible, checks of plant operations are carried out over extended periods of time, at nights and at weekends as well as during normal daytime working hours, to ensure that nothing is overlooked.

The audit report will include a description of energy inputs and product outputs by major department or by major processing function, and will evaluate the efficiency of each step of the manufacturing process. Means of improving these efficiencies will be listed, and at least a preliminary assessment of the cost of the improvements will be made to indicate the expected payback on any capital investment needed. The audit report should conclude with specific recommendations for detailed engineering studies and feasibility analyses, which must then be performed to justify the implementation of those conservation measures that require investments.

The information to be collected during the detailed audit includes: -

  • Energy consumption by type of energy, by department, by major items of process equipment, by end-use
  • Material balance data (raw materials, intermediate and final products, recycled materials, use of scrap or waste products, production of by-products for re-use in other industries, etc.)
  • Energy cost and tariff data
  • Process and material flow diagrams
  • Generation and distribution of site services (eg.compressed air, steam).
  • Sources of energy supply (e.g. electricity from the grid or self-generation)
  • Potential for fuel substitution, process modifications, and the use of co-generation systems (combined heat and power generation).
  • Energy Management procedures and energy awareness training programs within the establishment.

Existing baseline information and reports are useful to get consumption pattern, production cost and productivity levels in terms of product per raw material inputs. The audit team should collect the following baseline data:

  • Technology, processes used and equipment details
  • Capacity utilisation
  • Amount & type of input materials used
  • Water consumption
  • Fuel Consumption
  • Electrical energy consumption
  • Steam consumption
  • Other inputs such as compressed air, cooling water etc
  • Quantity & type of wastes generated
  • Percentage rejection / reprocessing
  • Efficiencies / yield


Draw process flow diagram and list process steps; identify waste streams and obvious energy wastage

An overview of unit operations, important process steps, areas of material and energy use and sources of waste generation should be gathered and should be represented in a flowchart as shown in the figure below. Existing drawings, records and shop floor walk through will help in making this flow chart. Simultaneously the team should identify the various inputs & output streams at each process step.

Example: A flowchart of Penicillin-G manufacturing is given in the figure3.1 below. Note that waste stream (Mycelium) and obvious energy wastes such as condensate drained and steam leakages have been identified in this flow chart

The audit focus area depends on several issues like consumption of input resources, energy efficiency potential, impact of process step on entire process or intensity of waste generation / energy consumption. In the above process, the unit operations such as germinator, pre-fermentor, fermentor, and extraction are the major conservation potential areas identified.


Identification of Energy Conservation Opportunities

Fuel substitution : Identifying the appropriate fuel for efficient energy conversion

Energy generation :Identifying Efficiency opportunities in energy conversion equipment/utility such as captive power generation, steam generation in boilers, thermic fluid heating, optimal loading of DG sets, minimum excess air combustion with boilers/thermic fluid heating, optimising existing efficiencies, efficienct energy conversion equipment, biomass gasifiers, Cogeneration, high efficiency DG sets, etc.

Energy distribution : Identifying Efficiency opportunities network such as transformers, cables, switchgears and power factor improvement in electrical systems and chilled water, cooling water, hot water, compressed air, Etc.

Energy usage by processes : This is where the major opportunity for improvement and many of them are hidden. Process analysis is useful tool for process integration measures

Technical and Economic feasibility

The technical feasibility should address the following issues

  • Technology availability, space, skilled manpower, reliability, service etc
  • The impact of energy efficiency measure on safety, quality, production or process.
  • The maintenance requirements and spares availability

The Economic viability often becomes the key parameter for the management acceptance. The economic analysis can be conducted by using a variety of methods. Example: Pay back method, Internal Rate of Return method, Net Present Value method etc. For low investment short duration measures, which have attractive economic viability, simplest of the methods, payback is usually sufficient. A sample worksheet for assessing economic feasibility is provided below:


Classification of Energy Conservation Measures

Based on energy audit and analyses of the plant, a number of potential energy saving projects may be identified. These may be classified into three categories

1. Low cost – high return;

2. Medium cost – medium return;

3. High cost – high return

Normally the low cost – high return projects receive priority. Other projects have to be analyzed, engineered and budgeted for implementation in a phased manner. Projects relating to energy cascading and process changes almost always involve high costs coupled with high returns, and may require careful scrutiny before funds can be committed. These projects are generally complex and may require long lead times before they can be implemented. Refer Table 3.1 for project priority guidelines.


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energy project audit

Project: Energy Audit

Experiment #3 from Renewable Energy with Vernier

Education Level


We all use energy to turn on lights, heat and cool our homes, get to school, and power our electronics. In the United States, energy consumption is broken down into four sectors: residential, commercial, industrial, and transportation.

  • Residential includes energy used in places like houses and apartment buildings
  • Commercial accounts for energy used in public spaces such as office buildings, schools, and hospitals
  • Industrial includes energy to grow and make goods such as food, cars, and buildings.
  • Transportation includes the gasoline and fuel used to drive cars and fly planes.

Conducting an energy audit will allow you to better understand how much energy is used by the devices in your home and classroom. Based on this information, brainstorm ways to reduce the amount of energy you use.

  • Measure electricity usage by several devices in your classroom and at home.
  • Make a plan for how you will conduct a home energy audit.
  • Calculate energy usage per person in your home.
  • Consider ways to conserve energy at home and school.
  • Determine ways your classroom, school, or home could become more efficient.

Sensors and Equipment

This experiment features the following sensors and equipment. Additional equipment may be required.

energy project audit

Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water


Conduct an energy audit

An energy audit can clarify your company’s energy consumption and identify areas for potential savings. It can lead to reduced energy use, improved productivity and opportunities to innovate.

Energy audits can be conducted in house. However, if skills are not available internally, external experts or energy services companies can be engaged to conduct part or all of the process.

Conduct an in-house energy audit

Access energy data.

Understanding where and when the business uses energy is crucial to finding the best ways to save money. Energy bills can provide some of this information, but detailed data and assessments will help you gain a better understanding of energy use.

To get a complete picture of electricity and gas use, at least 12 months of data showing energy-use patterns will need to be collected. Billing data should uncover gaps or identify some of your company’s higher-energy use processes. This information can be obtained directly from the energy supplier or a third party can be authorised to access the data

You can also rent a meter to measure short-term energy use, or install meters to capture specific operating periods. Don’t forget to factor in daily, monthly or seasonal variations when analysing the results.

Electricity monitors show in real time how much energy your business is using and how much this energy costs. Some energy retailers offer free energy monitoring. There are also energy monitoring apps for both Apple and Android devices. Plug-in monitors are also available.

To read more on accessing and understanding energy data, visit the  Victorian Energy Saver website.

Analyse your energy baseline

Your energy baseline will clarify the relationship between your business’s energy use and activities, linking energy costs to business output.

Common analysis techniques include:

  • graphing energy use over time to determine energy use patterns, factor in seasonal, monthly, weekly, daily or hourly usage
  • X-Y plotting energy use versus production or other parameters
  • benchmarking energy performance to see whether a process, facility or business unit is operating at optimum performance level, or to draw comparisons between sites.

Track results

Close the loop by tracking your progress and any improvements in your company’s energy use over time. You’ll have useful data to share across your business. Successes are an excellent way to build support for continual energy savings.

Energy efficiency training

For a range of energy efficiency training providers and options including accredited training, on-the-job learning, government workshops, and programs offered by professional and industry associations, see the  Energy efficiency training  page.

Energy-intensive businesses with a net energy consumption of more than 0.05 PJ per year should refer to the large energy users section for guidance on how to  conduct an energy efficiency assessment .

Engage an energy auditor

Audits should be completed to the relevant Australian Standards:

  • AS/NZS 3598.1:2014 Energy Audits—Commercial buildings
  • AS/NZS 3598.2:2014 Energy Audits—Industrial and related activities
  • AS/NZS 3598.3:2014 Energy Audits—Transport related activities .

Choose the right type of audit

Australian Standard energy audits fall into 1 of 3 categories:

Type 1 audit (basic energy audit)

A basic overview of your company’s energy consumption, and a broad estimate of energy savings with relatively short payback periods. 

These audits are useful for smaller businesses. Larger businesses can also benefit if energy efficiency has not been previously assessed.

Type 2 audit (detailed energy audits)

A more rigorous analysis of your company’s energy consumption. It will quantify potential energy savings based on detailed data and analysis of the specific equipment and operating conditions applying to each site.

Also includes financial evaluation of opportunities based on agreed criteria that will help business owners prioritise the opportunities shown in the audit. Installation of additional measurement equipment is not generally required.

Type 3 audit (precision subsystem audits)

Focuses on a major subsystem, such as boilers or compressed air systems. It involves additional measurements to quantify opportunities to a higher level of accuracy.

Useful for larger businesses with specialist equipment or major production facilities.

Find an auditor

Energy auditor training and accreditation varies between states and territories.

The Energy Efficiency Council website has a  list of service providers .

The Australian standards specify the kinds of skills, knowledge and experience auditors need to do their job well. These requirements can vary across industry depending on the audit required and the equipment used by the business.

Questions to ask when selecting an energy auditor include:

  • Have you assessed other businesses in my sector?
  • How much do you know about my industry, my type of business, my specialist equipment?
  • Can you provide references from similar business owners you’ve audited using the Australian Standard?
  • What type of audit are you experienced and qualified to provide for the equipment at my site?
  • How do you or your team meet the competency requirements in the Australian Standard?
  • What type of Australian Standard audit do you think my business needs and why?
  • Can you help me with implementing the opportunities you identify?
  • Does your company guarantee the savings identified will cover all project costs?

Information to provide to your auditor

Type 1 audit.

Provide energy bills for at least the past 12 months, and as much information as you have on usage patterns – for example, the number of hours your equipment or lighting is used every week.

Type 2 audit

In addition to the requirements for a Type 1 audit, provide information on energy sub-metering, energy charges, access to design, control systems and maintenance. This is all essential as a Type 2 audit will include a comprehensive analysis of energy consumption.

Type 3 audit

As well as the requirements for Type 1 and Type 2 audits, provide additional information on the interactions between the specified subsystem being audited, and other equipment at your site. You should also supply the operating profile for that subsystem and any other information that will help to identify the additional measurements needed for this level of audit.

For Type 2 or 3 audits in particular, it is advisable to refer to the standard to identify whether there is sufficient data available for an audit at those levels.

Energy efficiency skills and training

Grants and funding

Large energy users - Conduct an energy efficiency assessment

AS/NZS 3598.1:2014 Energy Audits—Commercial buildings Standards Australia

AS/NZS 3598.2:2014 Energy Audits—Industrial and related activities Standards Australia

AS/NZS 3598.3:2014 Energy Audits—Transport related activities Standards Australia

Energy efficiency in industry Energy Efficiency Council

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© Commonwealth of Australia 2023

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