ATLANTA — A new course from ASHRAE offers guidance on best practices and other information relevant for building owners, managers, and government entities.

The two-part course, Commercial Building Energy Audits, includes a summary of materials essential for performing ASHRAE Level 1, 2, and 3 audits; time-saving tips for energy auditors; how to hire an auditor; what to ask for in a comprehensive audit report; how to build a successful energy-efficiency retrofit team; tips to make site visits quicker and more effective; tools to make analysis of billing data and energy savings faster and more accurate; and tools to perform diagnostics using measured data. It is part of ASHRAE’s Learning Institute’s fall online course series.

“Engineers don’t usually make the best salesmen,” course instructor Jim Kelsey said. “Yet promoting energy-efficiency projects in buildings requires energy auditors to promote projects and ‘sell’ their ideas. Attendees will learn how to promote energy-efficiency projects in commercial buildings, with means that are more effective than simple cost-effectiveness.”

Given the tremendous growth in emphasizing energy efficiency in existing buildings, private markets are looking for cost-effective investments to make in buildings. Energy efficiency represents an excellent opportunity to provide great returns while helping the environment and improving indoor environmental quality.

One way to learn what building improvements are needed is to conduct an energy audit.

“As we work to identify investment opportunities in commercial buildings, we want to ensure that any recommendations are cost-effective, technically feasible, and result in significant energy savings,” said Kelsey. “Providing the best audits will help move the industry forward to net-zero buildings, so this course focuses on how to actually conduct good audits.”

Kelsey notes that new industry research shows revenue from energy-efficient HVAC systems will grow from $17.2 billion in 2013 to $33.2 billion by 2020.

“That growth will not be possible without independent energy auditors who can put unbiased, engineering-based information into the hands of decision makers,” he said.

The course is scheduled for Nov. 4 and 6. For registration costs and to register, visit

Publication date: 9/9/2013 

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