The Hidden Cost of a "Free" Energy Audit

In this challenging business environment, individuals and companies from a range of professions have begun offering Free Energy Audits as an enticement to attract customers. If you want an energy audit and are finding the “free” offer attractive, be careful which entity you choose. The expertise of firms ranges from incompetent to extraordinary and you need to work with the “extraordinary” end of the scale. Incompetent “free” energy audits come at a high cost of lost time and potentially lost dollars should you attempt to implement faulty or incomplete recommendations.

It is crucial to remember that there are two important facets of an energy audit:
1) the analysis of the existing system, and
2) the all-important recommendations for improving and modifying the system to maximize savings at the lowest possible cost.

Some providers can accomplish step 1 competently, but there are few with the expertise to accomplish step 2.

In the world of manufacturing and industrial facilities in which we work, we’ve happened upon shocking scenarios such as lighting companies attempting to do energy audits on plant mechanical systems. We’ve also seen experienced engineering firms who do not know how to use modern energy-efficiency controls and system technology to reduce plant energy costs.

There is also the important issue of working with an engineering organization that has experience collaborating with utility companies on rebates and incentives that help defray your out-of-pocket costs and quicken the return on investment.

Choose a “free” energy audit with care. They are not all created equal!


What has been your experience with energy audits? We invite your comments. You may also e-mail questions or potential blog topics to