CERT helped a class at Rockingham Community College Early College High School win a national energy award.
Services specifically for local governments
An important aspect of CERT’s mission is to provide assistance to North Carolina local government agencies to reduce energy use. These projects range from relatively quick and simple energy audits to more detailed energy surveys and case studies.
Preliminary Energy Audits
Audits involve minimal interviews with site operations personnel and a brief review of facility utility bills and other operating data. A walk-through of the facility allow the auditor to become familiar with building operation and identify glaring areas of energy waste or inefficiency. A checklist prepared by the State Energy Office is used to complete this task.
Typically, only major problem areas will be uncovered during this type of audit. Corrective measures are briefly described, and quick estimates of implementation cost, potential operating cost savings, and simple payback periods are provided.
Detailed Energy Surveys
These surveys are conducted through collecting information about facility operations and evaluating energy conservation measures.
- Utility bills are collected for a 12- to 36-month period to allow the auditor to evaluate the facility's energy/demand rate structures and energy usage profiles.
- In-depth interviews with facility operating personnel are conducted to provide a better understanding of major energy consuming systems as well as insight into variations in daily and annual energy consumption and demand.
- Implementation costs and annual energy savings are calculated.
- Detailed financial analysis is performed for each measure based on detailed implementation cost estimates, site-specific operating cost savings, and the customer's investment criteria.
- Sufficient detail is provided to justify project implementation.
- Energy investments are rated on a single set of financial criteria that generally stress the expected return on investment.
- Technical assistance is prepared for each building.
Detailed Energy Case Studies
The case study expands on the Detailed Energy Survey by providing a dynamic model of energy use characteristics of both the existing facility and all energy conservation measures identified.
The building model is calibrated against actual utility data to provide a realistic baseline against which to compute operating savings for proposed measures. Extensive attention is given to understanding not only the operating characteristics of all energy consuming systems, but also situations that cause load profile variations on both an annual and daily basis. Existing utility data is supplemented with sub metering of major energy consuming systems and monitoring of system operating characteristics.
Case studies utilize data-logger techniques. Additional metering of specific energy-consuming systems is often performed to supplement utility data.
The Case Study Energy Audit Report includes all of the study's materials, and a copy is sent to participating facilities manager. Possible publications from thesis and dissertation topics can be developed with participating engineering graduate students.