Do energy audits that neglect doing the "subset" of a lighting audit underserve the client ?
If your auto mechanic excluded evaluations of 20% -30% of your car would you be happy
with the scope of that assessment ? How about if you went to a doctor for a physical and
they didn't bother checking 1/3 of your body would you be OK with that ?
I bring it up because I have had some dealings with some well regarded energy auditors recently-
I inquired about the scope of their assessments - None were doing an adequete job of assessing
how kWs were used for the task of lighting- thats at minimum 1/5 of the total consumption of electric on thier electric bill, Not so "consumer friendly"--- of course this is
assuming it's not an amish guy's home -
So whats up with that ? - just food for thought for those "purporting" to do thorough home or business, energy use evaluations. As a consumer I would liken it to those candybars with
small air bubbles in 'em. There's a similar disconnect regarding paying for the whole thing
and not getting the whole thing. The air is something but in that instance it's nothing of value-
Light is the medium we work in and flourish in - Its a big part of life and a substantial portion
of kWs used in almost everyones life- The scope of recommendations I heard from these
energy auditors on the topic was - if they are using a lot of incandescent we recommend that
they switch to CFLs - pretty damned weak if ya ask me !!
it's more gotcha capatalism- not unlike subway with their 11" sandwiches that they are calling footlongs
consumers ought to get what they pay for. Anyone disagree ? Any auditors want to defend their BPI or
Resnet audits that are doing the same thing ? I mean 1" less of a sandwich is kinda inconsequential
but there are folks payin $750 for audits that are not having that lighting portion of these expensive audits
performed who are ripping people off !! Consumers should revolt !! some advice bring a tape measure to
subway and show this post to your friendly energy auditor and start calling these offending parties out-
Regarding thoroughness in audits, So You're the one- I actually know of a slight increase in energy
auditor awareness about this so called 80% syndrome. I commend you for your comprehensive approach.
There is one Chi area firm that is interested in my talents (they do home performamce evaluations) &
the principal instructs + certifies "newbies" & he is interested in buying a curriculum that's all about the
subset of lighting audits.
So I'm out there raising the topic in hopes of bolstering the ranks of
energy auditors who look at + help resolve illogical energy use patterns that relate to lighting.
Oh well one down 34 to go !
If you must use CFL use only high quality lamps. If its a PACE or some other funding source use and apply LED. They work out on audits when you include everything.
Our audits subdivide the home into "Energy Centers", seven at minimum:
Kitchen / refrigeration
Media / entertainment
Pool / spa - pumping and heating
irrigation / water features
Miscellaneous significant loads not part of any of the above.
While I'm glad Your team takes a comprehensive approach - when just looking
at kW use and how much is used due to lighting , I wish that it were standard . I look
forward to a time in energy assessments in the near future where lighting power density
factors are laid out (like thermal images) with annual system operational cost data-
as standard operarating procedure in getting this building performance data compiled and
delivered to decision makers.
and then when lighting choices are talked about or better yet - installed
I hope that end users will be happy with their systems for many years- because
they had qualified , vetted products/ systems put in place. Because they "choose well"
I want end users to feel smug because their "right choice" helped for a decade or two.
Three reasons we don't get overly analytical about lighting:
1) It generally amounts to just 10-20% of total usage, other centers loom larger
2) My general recommendation is to change out any incandescent lamp used more than a few minutes per day with a CFL or LED. Included in that are closet and attic lights which have a high chance of being left on inadvertently for extended periods
3) It is hard to be certain how many hours per day most lamps are burned
Your approach seems more suited to commercial lighting. Our utility's rebate program "InvestSmart" has a huge spreadsheet into which one enters every fixture and it operating hours.