- An energy consumption chart of the past 12 month of energy consumption. It may help you identify and/or confirms problems in the building.
- Satellite imagery. How large is the building? Does it have an attached parking lot? How many rooftop units might you encounter? Google Streetview can help you here too.
- The building's floor plan. If you're marking potential energy-saving measures, you'll want to note where they are. Also, so you don't get lost!
- A camera phone. An iPhone takes really pictures, has a built-in flash, and is thin enough to fit around tight corners. And sometimes, the zoom is pretty decent too.
- A light meter. How much light hits the surfaces that are to be illuminated? Is it enough, too much or not enough? Ensuring there's the right amount of light hitting surfaces can reduce your energy consumption and/or increase office productivity.
- A fluorescent ballast checker. A T-8 lamp may look energy efficient, but it could be running on a magnetic ballast, known to consume more energy than necessary. Using one of these lets you find out if they are without opening up the fixture.
- A clipboard and paper. You may not have a surface available to write on, and you'll definitely be taking notes along the way.
- Typical energy consumption breakdown for the building's use. You can go to the California End Use Survey (CEUS) website, which will show you on average how much each end use (lighting, cooling, heating) consumes for a type of building. The charts it produces help you focus your efforts by identifying where the largest amount of energy goes.
Lighting, office equipment, and air conditioning
are the largest consumers of energy
in San Joaquin Valley small offices. Source: CEUS
Take a look outside, too. Some building-attached lighting can be really inefficient, and even more so if they are on an indoor switch. Changing them to a photo sensor or time clock can save a lot of money without a lot of headache. Even more can be saved by switching to LED. The same goes for parking lot lights. Their long run hours make for a quick payback, even if the building is on a time-of-use rate.