A recent commercial energy audit on a new-er medical office building revealed startling results. After a thorough building analysis and a benchmark study, Priority Energy discovered the building was using over 50% more electricity than comparable properties and had monthly operating costs that were $20,000 higher than projected. Also shocking was that the building owners had been paying for this inflated use since the building first opened ten years ago.

Luckily and coincidentally, the conscientious property managers asked Priority Energy to do a check-up of the building's overall energy consumption, including it's water use, waste output and green house gas emmissions. The energy auditors found most of this to be within the normal range of a medical office building. No one would have expected the electricity consumption to be so far out of line, especially since many features of the 175,000 s.f. building were designed to be energy efficient.

Priority Energy examined the energy usage of the "house" (common areas), the "tenants" (doctor's offices and patient services), and the building's total capital expenditures. They also ran several scenarios using benchmark buildings to determine average electrical use.

In Scenario One they analyzed the building's mechanical equipment and the HVAC run-time schedule. This showed expected electricity usage to be between 150,210 - 228, 645 kWh per month. Using the average rate of 0.078 $/kWh, their monthly electricity cost should have been no higher than $19,000. However, the building's actual use was 441, 556 kWh and their monthly cost was close to $35,000.

Scenario Two was a benchmark study using a comparable office building that had an average electricity baseload of just 85,483 kWh per month, nearly 518% lower than Priority's building. Since the other building was so similar in size, occupancy, location, HVAC equipment and construction the report gave further confirmation that the electricity use of the inspected building was incorrect, or not being metered properly.

Based on the results of the energy audit, Priorty Energy determined the medical building's electrical meter, or the "house" meter, was absorbing electricity use from tenants and/or the adjoining hospital resulting in inordinately high kWh use per month. By contacting the utility company and having them separate the electrical meters the building's owners should see a savings of over $200,000 a year in operating costs and get a much better energy conservation score.