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Makes the property owner aware of the best energy/cost saving opportunities based on return on investment

Provides independent analysis to the PACE program of the energy/cost savings of the measures for which the property owner is seeking financing.




The inherent challenge of requiring energy audits is finding the balance between cost and rigor, especially across small, medium, and large projects with differing cost sensitivities. A sensible response to this challenge is for the program to develop tiered audit requirements based on the number and combination of measures being installed, project costs, and existing lender or underwriter requirements. These will likely include some combination of the audits in Table 3, which are listed in order of lowest to highest cost.

Table 3 – Energy Audit Types and Descriptions

Targeted Audit

Only examines the energy use of the system of concern, rather than the energy use of the whole building. This approach is generally used for large, single-system projects.

ASHRAE* Level I Audit

a.k.a. Walk-through Analysis; A brief review of building systems with primarily qualitative results.

ASHRAE Level II Audit

a.k.a. Energy Survey and Engineering Analysis; This includes identifying energy efficiency measures with estimates of energy and cost savings for capital projects.

ASHRAE Level III Audit

a.k.a. Detailed Analysis of Capital-intensive Modifications; This includes more detailed calculations based on monitored end-use data or hourly building simulations. It also includes more detailed project specifications for retrofits.

Investment-Grade Audit (IGA)

A very rigorous and expensive audit, typically undertaken to evaluate a potential upgrade to a facility's energy infrastructure, wherein it must compete for capital funding with nonenergy-related investments. The projected operating savings from the implementation of the project must be developed such that they provide a high level of confidence.

Audit Type Utility Rebate/Incentive Audit


A free or low-cost audit that is part of a utility energy efficiency rebate/incentive program (this is often equivalent to an ASHRAE Level I Audit).

  • *

    ASHRAE: American Society for Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers

The cost of an audit can range from free (utility audit) to tens of thousands of dollars for an investment grade audit. Therefore, composing tiered audit requirements that are appropriate for all potential property/project sizes is critical to ensuring that the related costs do not become an unreasonable hurdle that dissuade property owners from participating.

Grantees should note that multifamily housing is very different from other types of nonresidential buildings, and will likely be subject to different audit protocols and standards than those for office, retail, and warehouse properties. Currently, a broad stakeholder group assembled by the California Home Energy Retrofit Coordinating Committee (HERCC) is nearing completion of recommended protocols and


Chapter 13


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