Energy audits: how to tailor to context?

An energy audit includes an inspection of the building and equipment, how it is used, identification of savings potentials and measures, and recommendations on measures to save energy. Energy audits can be helpful instruments to solve the following problems:

  • Your target group's lack of knowledge about their own energy use
  • Lack of visibility of energy use and opportunities for savings

Energy audits can help to trigger energy efficiency investments, but they can also reveal low-cost opportunities for saving energy via changes in routines and habitual behaviour.

What you need to do: 

Energy audits help your target group understand their own energy use. There are many generic audit models (see EU bibliography on energy audits), but you can fit them to your context if you:

  1. Understand how your target group makes decisions-> Get to know your target group
  2. Understand the needs and practices of your target group-> Get to know your target group
  3. Consider timing of audits (vis-à-vis other priorities) -> Check your timing
  4. Involve all facility users in the audit process
  5. Make sure that audit actually gets your target group’s attention and helps them take action
  6. Make sure that qualified service providers are available to help your target group to implement audit recommendations (make improvements and investments) -> Engage stakeholders


When does it work?: 

Audits are most feasible to provide for larger energy users (organizations), but are also available to households in some countries. They are most successful:

  • When customers believe that the auditors are impartial and qualified (so check certification schemes operating in your country)
  • When subsidies are available to reduce audit costs for the target group
  • When energy end-users and key decision-makers are involved in the audit and understand its findings
  • When the audit is based on an identification of the specific needs of your target group. 


What do you need to look out for: 

Audit findings are not always implemented! If they are not implemented, energy is not saved.

Key aspects of the audit process that influence implementation include:

► Communication and involvement of end-users (and key decision-makers)·

► Identification of the specific needs and problems of your target group

► Availability of technical and financial support for implementing improvement measures