An energy audit gives you a road map for where you’re losing energy, and where it can be saved. Some of the suggested changes will be behavioral (i.e. turning off computers over the weekend), and those can be found in the “Adjust” section. Other changes are physical in nature (i.e. replacing outdated and inefficient equipment), and those are found in the “Invest” section. Making changes in each of these categories can be equally as helpful in reducing your energy costs.
Using the information found in the “Adjust” and “Invest” sections of this article, you can look at your facilities and perform a basic self-audit, deciding which energy-saving steps would be best to start with. Visit the Delta Institute for more ideas on greening your building. The Delta Institute has helped many Chicago buildings become green, including the Merchandise Mart and Prudential Plaza.
CNT Energy Savers offers a variety of services including information on green building components, zoning codes, permitting, and incentives. They will audit your facilities, assist you in obtaining financing, oversee construction and perform follow-up. They are an excellent resource to reduce costs by improving energy efficiency.
Energy Education is a resource similar to CNT, but their focus is specific to helping schools and churches become more energy efficient.
The Ecology Action Center’s Resources for Business provides energy analyses, energy-consulting services, and building operator certification programs for small to medium sized businesses.