Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


Four different companies, from three European countries, were asked to carry out energy audits on the same group of buildings. The buildings consisted of six blocks of apartments connected to the same heating plant, a primary school, and a terraced house. The object of the exercise was to compare commercial energy auditing methods from the point of view of accuracy and cost-effectiveness. The audits were compared, not only with each other, but with the results of a much more detailed benchmark study carried out by the authors. Large differences were found at all stages of the audits, from such basic data as building dimensions and length of heating season up to the final recommendations. The benchmark study identified a considerable number of potentially cost-effective energy-saving measures, specific to the buildings audited, which were completely overlooked by the commercial audits. There was no observable correlation between the degree of detail (and cost) of an audit and its overall cost-effectiveness. There were three main reasons for this: - each auditing scheme was clearly limited to considering only those energy-conserving measures contained in a fixed list. Naturally, no two lists would have been identical; - technical difficulties arise in determining such parameters as thermal transmittances, ventilation rates and seasonal heating system efficiencies; - there are also differences in national conventions (the use of internal and external building dimensions, for example). The paper concludes with some suggestions for improving current auditing practice.

Additional information

Authors: HELCKE G A, JRC Ispra (IT);CONTI F, JRC Ispra (IT);DANIOTTI B, JRC Ispra (IT);PECKHAM R J, JRC Ispra (IT)
Bibliographic Reference: Article: Energy in Buildings, Vol. 14 (1990) pp. 153-164
Record Number: 199011063 / Last updated on: 1994-12-01
Original language: en
Available languages: en