An auditor basically performs four activities. These activities include:
- Understanding the site and gathering the data: Successful auditors take steps to ensure that they understand the site and are able to gather the appropriate data. Employing well-written questionnaires and conducting site visits guarantees the auditor has a clear understanding of the operating conditions. Examples of items to review would be the process, including the identification of the main steps and energy requirements, the facilities and utilities such as compressors, HVAC, Electrical Network, Building envelope, and so on. Additionally, the review will include the Building Management Systems—such as HVAC control and lighting control as well as the energy awareness and behavior of the people at the site.
- Measuring/Monitoring/Testing. The second activity involves measuring, monitoring, and testing. In order to successfully perform this activity, the auditor will need to perform a variety of tests, for example, to verify that a sensor is working correctly. These tests provide key data about the equipment or information to show if certain types of improvements are feasible. Additionally, if pre-existing data is not available or not sufficient, the auditor may also need to measure and monitor the energy profile and load in order to identify energy losses. The length, frequency and the number of points to be measured or tested can vary depending on the type of audit and the application to be investigated. It could range from snapshot measurement or a test for a walkthrough up to detailed measurement and test including monitoring over a significant period for the comprehensive type of audit. Larger buildings and factories contain complex systems. Optimizing the performance of systems such as variable air volume HVAC systems requires continuous monitoring and control adjustments. Therefore, large sites and complex systems must be evaluated and treated as a dynamic, not static user of energy. The measuring and monitoring period must take account of this.
- Assessing the situation: In the third activity, the auditor will assess the situation. This is done by: Checking and analyzing all of the data collected; looking for Energy Conservation Opportunities—which may also involve conducting a study of their feasibility; as well as performing cost-benefit calculations.
- Proposing an action plan: Finally, the auditor will propose an action plan. The output of the audit is the proposed action plan. An action plan will: Provide ways to manage and control power consumption and costs; as well as Propose energy savings solutions.
One of the easiest activity an auditor can carry out during a walk through audit is to identify what is termed as low hanging fruits: areas than can be implemented immediately at a cheaper cost to the client, mostly in the areas of lighting in most commercial, residential and office buildings.