Many energy and resource efficiency audits fail to properly address opportunity interdependency in their recommendations, which can greatly reduce the credibility and impact of the audit. This article aims to shed light on this critical aspect of auditing which is also one of the most creative and enjoyable parts of the process.
This post complements an earlier item on the value of involving management in the audit process: “The purpose of a resource efficiency audit”.
Over many years I have observed hundreds of energy efficiency and waste minimisation audits conducted by external consultants on behalf of a wide range of industrial, commercial and public sector clients, but one thing puzzled me greatly and this had to do with the purpose of a resource efficiency audit.
It was clear to me that most clients saw the aim of an audit as the production of the audit report, detailing a range of recommendations along with a cost-benefit analysis. Everything about the assignment reinforced this viewpoint. The Consulting firms each had their own consistent reporting format, which they jealously protected, and their proposal documents all talked about the specific content and time-frames for delivery of the report. The idea of the report as the product was further reinforced by the payment schedule where the final fees typically become due once the draft report had been reviewed and approved.