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Energy surveys

A practical guide to identifying energy saving opportunities

Energy Surveys

What is an energy survey?

An energy survey is a systematic review of how energy is used within a building or industrial site.  It includes a physical inspection of buildings and equipment, which can range from a simple visual inspection to a fully instrumented study.

There are three types of survey:

  • walk-through
  • detailed
  • investment grade.

The guide below should enable you to undertake a walk-through survey, to help you identify ways to improve your organisation's energy efficiency. An investment grade survey will require an experienced professional.

Energy surveys guide

Energy Surveys CTG055

Our 52-page guide to energy surveys is for anyone with responsibility for reducing the energy use of their organisation. It will also help anyone who wants to know more about energy surveys.  The guidance is based on the experiences of the Carbon Trust’s survey programme and is intended to help you and your organisation find practical opportunities to save energy.

This guide has been developed to help all sectors (industrial, commercial and public). It is based on the energy survey of a single site or building, but the techniques and advice can be extended to cover multiple sites.

It provides a structured framework for a simple ‘walk-through’ energy survey, supported by guides to the more common processes and services.

Any survey you carry out with the help of this guide will only be a first step on your journey to lower energy costs, improved environmental performance, and the benefits of active energy management. But it will be a start, and in the course of your survey you will probably make immediate savings by detecting and rectifying some obvious areas where money is being wasted.

Guide contents:

  1. Introduction
    • Who is this guide for?
    • What is an energy survey?
    • Do your own survey, or commission a specialist?
    • When to undertake a survey
    • How to use this guide
    • Before you start
  2. Section A: Survey Framework
    • Overview
    • Commissioning a survey
    • Doing it yourself
    • Reporting
    • Making the savings
  3. Section B: Practical Survey Notes
    • Management aspects
    • Technical topics
    • Energy supply and metering
    • Enhanced Capital Allowances
    • Lighting
    • Heating and hot water
    • Boilers and heat distribution (including steam)
    • Ventilation
    • Air conditioning
    • Motors and drives
    • Building controls
    • Office equipment
    • Refrigeration
    • Building fabric
    • Compressed air
    • Heat recovery
    • Industrial processes
  4. Appendices
    • Instruments and tools
    • Energy data and conversion factors
    • Related publications and tools
      Example brief for an energy survey

Publication date Sept 2011; Publication code CTG055

Information in this report was correct at the time of publication

Energy efficiency: further support

The Carbon Trust can help your company take advantage of the business opportunities in energy efficiency.  Some of the services that can help your business include:

  • Technical and strategic advice on how to make the most of the opportunities in energy efficiency
  • The Green Business Directory of Carbon Trust Accredited Suppliers provides details of high quality suppliers of energy efficiency and renewable technology
  • The Green Business Fund energy efficiency support for small and medium-sized companies in England, Wales and Scotland
  • Finance for implementing identified energy efficiency projects
  • Certification to the Carbon Trust Standard to achieve recognition for real reductions in greenhouse gas emissions

To find out more call us on +44 (0)20 7170 7000, email us on, or fill in our contact form.

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