Guide

Monitoring and metering your energy use

Conduct an energy walk round

A walk around can be helpful when managing energy. You can find out where bad practice, inefficient equipment usage, and any poor energy habits are taking place around the building so you can start to fix them. A walk round can help you spot:

  • wasteful energy use
  • opportunities for savings
  • maintenance issues that need to be dealt with

It's a good idea to involve your staff if possible.

Simple checks and actions

You should aim to identify areas of energy waste and inefficient use of energy controls by making sure that:

  • you can account for the energy used while the building is empty
  • energy saving modes are switched on for equipment that has to be kept on all day for occasional use
  • lights are switched off when they're no longer needed during the day and when the building is empty
  • ventilation fans are switched off in unoccupied areas
  • thermostat, timing and lighting control settings are correctly set

Prepare for a walk round

It's a good idea to prepare a checklist for your walk round. You could have separate checklists for maintenance and housekeeping or a combined one.

The Carbon Trust has produced guidance on assessing the energy use in your building. This includes a sample checklist that you could use. Download guidance on assessing your business' energy use from the Carbon Trust website (PDF, 416K).

Maintenance checks

Poorly-maintained buildings and equipment waste energy and increase your energy bills. On your walk round you should check whether any repairs or replacements are needed and whether energy-using equipment has been properly maintained. You should check whether work is needed to:

  • reduce air leaks
  • repair broken windows and damaged walls and roofs
  • replace damaged or damp insulation
  • stop water dripping
  • clean windows and light fittings
  • replace dirty filters
  • balance the heating system

When to conduct an energy walk round

You can do a walk round whenever you think it's necessary but it's best to do one at least once a year and preferably every three to six months. You'll also need to think about doing them at different times of the day as the energy use will vary. This might be:

  • when the cleaners are on duty
  • at lunchtime
  • at night or weekends when you expect to be using little or no energy
  • at busy times when you expect to use a lot of energy

Action after the walk round

After each walk round:

  • analyse the findings
  • report results to staff and management
  • produce an action plan and implement it
  • schedule your next walk round