Sample Energy Audit RFP
By Chris Hebb, Thetford Energy Committee and Dynamic Integrations, LLC Thetford VT 802-333-9689
1.0 REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL
Proposals are requested for an energy audit of (building, town). Proposal is to be delivered to the Owner
by (date) by email or mail. Subject: (building) Energy Audit RFP. Proposal shall be good for 45 days. The
budget for this audit is ($x).
1.2 OWNER SITE CONTACT
(Contact, address, phone, email)
1.3 COMPLETION DATE
If awarded this contract the auditor agrees to complete the work within ten weeks of contract award.
1.4 BUILDING ACCESSABILITY
The building will be accessible during office hours throughout the contract period and by appointment
1.5 DESCRIPTION OF BUILDING
(Building location, size, year built and renovated, use, schedule of use, annual fuel and electric use, photo,
description of available as built drawings, owner's ideas for energy renovations, completed energy
renovations, plans for future change of use, estimated life of building, previous audit results)
1.6 BUILDING SITE VISIT
A building walk through for bidders will be conducted on (date, time). Attendance is not required.
1.7 DESCRIPTION OF AUDIT REPORT
The report shall be an investment grade audit providing a basis for long term energy planning oriented
toward net zero use.
a. Data collection and testing
1. Perform envelope testing per BPI health and safety specifications.
2. Perform system testing (equipment efficiency, temperatures, ventilation rates, light levels etc)
and data logging where significant unknown operating parameters exist.
b. Savings Analysis
1. Produce a base building model balancing fuel and electric use with actual.
2. Assess each measure interactively in order of recommended implementation including effects
of lighting measures on heating and cooling and effects of each measure on subsequent
measures so the savings estimates are additive.
c. Operation and Maintenance Measure
1. The audit shall detail a program of aggressive low cost measures to optimize the building
operation. Methods and estimated costs and savings shall be described.
d. Capital Measures
1. All energy conservation and renewable energy generation measures with less than a 20 year
simple payback shall be evaluated and reported.
2. Report any measures that were seriously considered but rejected.
e. Economic Analysis - For each capital recommendation provide:
1. First cost estimate - Labor and Materials
2. Source of cost estimate
3. Maintenance cost increase or decrease due to the measure
4. Estimated life of the measure
5. Net Present value based on above values and appropriate discount rate. (For free life
cycle cost software and other resources see
1. Two bound hard copies and one electronic copy of the report shall be provided
2. Auditor shall be prepared to present the findings and answer questions in person.
The Owner does not obligate himself/herself to accept the lowest or any proposal, and reserves the right to
reject any or all proposals, and to waive any formalities, informalities, and minor deviations in any
The agreement shall be the auditor's standard agreement and shall refer to this document as part of the
agreement. Where conflicts occur this document shall take precedence.
1.10 DEVIATIONS AND ADDITIONS
a. If applicable, the Bidder shall include a "Proposed Deviations" section in his/her proposal which
shall contain a complete list of deviations and exceptions from these specifications.
a. Provide a list of past audits performed
b. Provide a sample report of a similar building.
c. Provide contact information for at least two references.
Comments on building modeling and economic analysis:
An investment grade audit is called for because it is expected that money will be invested_ in the
municipal sector, taxpayers' money.
Why a (thermal/electric) balanced model with interactive energy measures?
A BPA study of 250 renovated homes found that on average 66% of the predicted saving was
In 346 audits in Minnesota , the actual saving was within 50% of the audit prediction in only 45%
of the homes studied.
In an Oak Ridge National Lab study of 86 mobile homes located in 5 northern/midwestern states
and served by 11 different local weatherization agencies, energy renovations savings were an average of
33% those predicted by audits.
Another study by ORNL of homes in Minnesota found average savings of 66% of those predicted by audits.
Another ORNL study of 49 homes in New York found similar levels of overestimated savings.
In a study of 21,000 multifamily units in New York city energy savings was 66% of predicted. It found that
electric saving predictions were less reliable than fuel. (Lighting seems simple and is an area where most
auditors are fairly confident)
Overestimation of savings occurs, not only from auditor enthusiasm and inexperience, but is built into
most auditing methodologies including BPI blower door tests and simple lumped parameter (degree day)
analysis software typically used by home auditors.
The common errors can be substantially minimized by beginning with a model that balances its output
with actual fuel and electric use.
Secondly, the model must analyze each measure against the condition that results from previous measures.
If the night setback is going to save 10%, then any improvement to the windows or walls will be reduced
by 10%. Implementation of multiple operational and capital measures often cause a longer payback
measure to go from attractive to entirely uneconomical.
This interactivity must account for changes in internal heat gain. A lighting renovation reduces heat gain
from lights and will increase fuel consumption and reduce air conditioning.
Why life cycle costing?
Lifecycle costing considers the maintenance costs and measure life allowing meaningful decisions to be
made. A five year payback on weatherstripping looks good until you account for the fact that it will last 3
years. A 35W replacement for a 50W halogen lamp has a much better payback than an LED replacement
but the LED is much better investment.
Isn't this all going to be very expensive?
No. A simple building can be modeled by an experienced auditor in half an hour and the economic
analysis can be an automatic output of the modeling program.