Energy Auditing is a tool for identifying energy efficiency potential and measures. An energy audit is an important tool or method for finding such potentials for energy efficiency measures and for assessing their financial viability, which can be carried out at different levels.
A simple level just includes a brief site inspection as well as assessing the broad energy input and output of a system – this identifies low cost energy saving opportunities.
Medium level audits include an in-depth analysis of energy costs, energy usage and system characteristics along with on-site energy demand measurements to identify energy efficiency measures which are more capital intensive and need to be aligned with the financial budget plan of the site.
The most sophisticated level, which is referred to as an investment grade audit, includes an additional continuous monitoring of system data and process characteristics.
Energy audits on such comprehensive levels can also form an important basis or first step for introducing and establishing energy management systems (EMS) in enterprises/ other institutions. They enable efficient management of energy demand and consumption in production or processing entities – also in agricultural value chains (International Standard for EMS: ISO 50001).
For the United Nations, green financing plays an important role in delivering several of its Sustainable Development Goals. Its Environment team is already working with public and private sector organizations in an attempt to align international financial systems to the sustainable development agenda.
Some of the activities UN Environment is involved in include helping countries re-engineer their regulatory frameworks – so that green borrowing becomes compliant, for example – and helping steer public sector planning in a more environmentally friendly direction.
Clean sources of energy can be brought to fruition through the right combination of planning consent, strategic priorities and availability of capital. Such projects could be given preferential treatment to make them a more attractive option than, for example, fossil-fuel derived energy infrastructure.