Energy AuditAn energy audit assists the buyer to compare the energy efficiency of buildings. The familiar classifications of home appliances provide an overall picture of a house’s energy efficiency in a simple way. The aim of an energy audit is also to make energy efficiency one of the design criteria of buildings.
Legislation on energy auditing came into force on 1 January 2008. Existing building legislation was applied from 1 January 2009. Before the law entered into force, in other words before 1 January 2008, energy auditing for small dwellings, or small houses, and blocks of flats with a maximum of six apartments was voluntary.
When is an energy audit needed?An energy audit is needed when a building or its rooms are sold or rented, with the exception of small dwellings built before 2008.
An energy audit for new buildings is drawn up when the building permit is being dealt with. An energy audit is part of a broader energy report, which in addition to the energy audit generally contains the following observations in accordance with section D3 of the National Building Code of Finland:
- Comparative calculation of heat loss and the indication in accordance with the stipulations;
- The specific electrical capacity of the air ventilation system;
- The building’s heating capacity;
- An assessment of summertime indoor temperature and the required cooling capacity; and
- The building’s energy consumption at its location.
The energy report and energy audit are tools that are worth utilizing at the design stage. With the energy audit it has to be checked before the building is taken into use whether it is possible that during the construction time some of the data needed in the calculation has altered.
Where can an energy audit be obtained?An energy audit for a new building is given by the chief architect, and for an existing small house the energy audit is compiled by a separate energy audit provider. An energy audit for a small dwelling is always done numerically, because the impact of occupants in energy consumption is great.
An energy audit calculates the energy efficiency of a building. This is given by dividing the overall energy consumption of a building by gross area. In the case of small houses the heating energy of rooms, the energy for hot water and the energy use of electrical appliances is included. If there is a cooling system in the building, energy consumption for cooling is also taken into account.