12 February 2014 — Standards Australia has released the new draft standard for energy audits for commercial buildings and operation for public comment.
The draft standard AS/NZS 3598.1 Commercial building operations and maintenance is the result of collaboration between stakeholders including academics, industry, engineers, technical experts and government.
The standard recommends energy audits be carried out every three to five years as part of sound building management practice, and also when there are significant changes to systems, technology, plant, site use or internal processes.
It gives an overall explanation of the various levels of energy audit and what can be expected from each general type. The topics covered include the business case and cost–benefit analysis, and a breakdown of which activities correlate with specific payback periods.
Another benefit for owners and manager is that it details a best-practice guide for auditors and gives their clients a basis for comparing the comprehensiveness of audit proposals.
“Auditing energy use is important as it enables companies to determine how efficiently energy is being consumed and identify cost saving opportunities,” said Dr Bronwyn Evans, chief executive of Standards Australia.
Evans said the standard for commercial buildings, along with the newly released draft standards for energy auditing of transport-related activities and energy audits for industrial and related activities, “recognise the different approaches to energy auditing but strive to harmonise common aspects in order to bring more clarity and transparency to the whole process.”