Energy audit: Costs or cost savings?
Do you consider measures to reduce energy use and to lower greenhouse gas emissions as a burden or as an opportunity? How do you look towards the EU requirement to execute a regular energy audit?
In 2015, as part of the Energy Efficiency Directive (EED 2012/27/EU), an energy audit obligation entered into force in the EU. The Energy Efficiency Directive establishes a set of binding measures to help the EU reach its 20% energy efficiency target by 2020. The purpose of the energy audit is to stimulate companies to use energy efficiently and save energy where possible. The energy audit needs to be performed every 4 years. All European member states have implemented the EED in their own legislation and therefore differences occur within the set framework of the EED.
On first sight, the energy audit obligation seems to be a burden. However, the ‘rule of thumb’ in energy auditing learns that organizations that currently do not have energy performance in their plan-do-act-check cycle can save 5-20 % on energy bills without significant capital investment at all. For buildings, even 30% of the energy used could be cut through minimal investments, a systematic management attention to energy-efficient behavior and by engaging employees in saving energy.
What needs to be done in order to be compliant with the EED and to reduce costs of energy use:
- A compliance check for all EU operations of your company to identify the local energy audit requirements;
- Development of an audit approach including the selection of energy auditors;
- Collecting energy data e.g. by analysis of your financial administration, to create an overview of the energy use;
- Analyze the energy use and identify relevant best practices related to that use;
- Determine energy saving measures on the basis of cost efficiency and payback time;
- Develop an action plan to implement ‘low hanging fruit’ measures;
- Quick scan on the availability of energy efficiency grants;
- Develop a plan-do-check-act cycle to identify cost- and energy savings on a continuous basis.
More and more companies follow these steps to incorporate energy management into business operations. A recent study of Deloitte US showed that 83 percent of business respondents say they view reducing energy consumption as essential to staying competitive from a financial perspective. So the energy audit is not only a to-be-compliant assessment. By developing insights in energy use, implement accountability for energy performance throughout the organization and by realizing cost effective measures, energy costs will be reduced and competitiveness increased.
Next to potential energy and costs savings, a relevant opportunity is the possibility to receive grants for energy efficiency measures. For the Dutch market, the SDE+ subsidy for renewable energy generation will start a new tender round from 27th of September 2016.
Deloitte supports companies in multiple ways to asses compliance and the execution of the energy audit.
Would you like more information on energy audits? Please contact Annemieke Huibrechtse-Truijens via +31882882071.