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What Every Building Manager Should Know About Virtual Energy Audits

Posted by Danielle Martin on Jul 10, 2013 2:26:00 PM

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A virtual energy audit measures how buildings utilize energy, helping building owners to identify energy waste, adjust automated systems, and ultimately save money by reducing excess expenditures. These audits measure energy consumption using metrics such as energy bills, HVAC schedules, local weather information, and energy interval data to create an overview energy model. Unlike a manual assessment, virtual assessments can take place remotely – making them ideal for consistent monitoring of energy usage.

Many may be surprised to learn that their buildings are energy inefficient. In fact, 30% of all of the energy used in most buildings is wasted, according to the US Energy Administration. Office buildings are the biggest culprit, wasting trillions of thermal units yearly. A virtual energy audit is a key component in recognizing where energy is used and how to reduce waste.

Measuring occupancy and usage trends is one of the best ways to understand space and energy utilization – making it essential for inclusion in your virtual energy audit. One way to measure these trends is to use thermal-based people counters which track complete data for the building, including how each space is utilized, by whom, and when. For instance, space conditioning and lighting account for 70% of energy consumption in the average building. Even when buildings set forth an HVAC schedule, it doesn’t always match with how the space is actually being used. Using people counting technology as part of your virtual energy assessment will help you to accurately track when to power-up and power-down energy-hungry systems.

The potential for energy savings is vast, but an accurate evaluation is needed to achieve true savings. According to, “the US is tapping only about $20 to $30 billion of what appears to be a $100 to $400 billion market for energy efficiency.” Because occupant behavior is ever fluctuating, virtual energy audits help you to consistently identify and adjust energy consumption.

Virtual energy audits are:

  • Rapid
  • Customizable
  • Scalable
  • Evolving
  • Efficient
  • Easy to Monitor

To learn more about monitoring occupant behavior to optimize building utilization, minimize energy usage, and save money – visit our Smart Buildings page.