Remote Energy Audits

Glenmalure Sustainable Energy Community

Under the current restrictions and HSE guidelines, 3cea have had to get creative to continue with business as usual. One novel idea developed by the energy engineering team took on the concept of remote energy audits where 3cea staff could work collaboratively with homeowners to complete online surveys. This idea was undertaken as part of the Sustainable Energy Communities (SEC) project in Glenmalure, Co. Wicklow where several domestic and commercial audits were already complete in the Energy Master Plan before the lockdown, however, a number of these were still outstanding.

As a team, the energy engineers here in 3cea developed an online survey with specific energy questions for both domestic homes and non-domestic buildings. Adapting to the situation and deciding on the remote audit idea, the 3cea team contacted the 6 remaining homeowners and pitched the idea of a remote energy audit for their homes. The homeowners were delighted to continue with the progression of their SEC project and agreed to participate. They welcomed the sense of community spirit within this collaborative project, the first time such a project would be conducted since 3cea was established.

The process involved in the remote energy audit project required serious thought into what the desired outcome was to achieve, while also considering how each homeowner would be comfortable and ultimately efficient in conducting the measurements. To begin with, a blank survey was sent to each homeowner with specific questions about their house which included the building fabric, the heating system, the type of lighting, the measurement of walls, windows, and the overall area of the home.

Homeowner taking measurements

Following the survey, homeowners were asked to take a photo of each facade of their home and provide the drawings of the house. The final step of the process asked the homeowners to send the completed survey, photos and drawings to our energy engineers who then conducted the energy audit. At times it was necessary to get in touch with the homeowner through email or over the phone to confirm vital pieces of information, which to our benefit, the homeowners had no problem answering.

House drawings with measurements

After receiving the details and conducting the energy audit, the technical team were able to analyse the data and develop a two-page energy report for each house. The seamless interaction between the energy engineers and the homeowners was a real eye-opening moment as it raised the questions of what the future of energy auditing could look like. Using online tools and out of the box thinking, a practical and well-designed solution was possible, introducing an exciting prospect for future collaboration.

3cea would like to thank the homeowners in the Glenmalure SEC project for their patience and cooperation throughout the process. The level of understanding from the homeowners made the development of this innovative project a great success and one in which we hope to build on going forward.