What are energy consulting firms?

Companies that are concerned about their energy consumption and carbon footprint can hire environmental consultants.

Energy consulting firms are a type of business support service that helps companies assess their current energy consumption levels and determine the true level of energy needs that would allow the company to run at peak efficiency. In many situations, this type of consulting firm would look closely not only at how various forms of energy are being used, but also at ways of modifying that use to be more economical and environmentally friendly. To that end, a company that is involved in energy consulting will often employ engineers who can provide insights into how to improve the structures used by the customer so that energy consumption is more efficient.

There are several ways that energy consulting firms can help a company. A basic service is simply assessing the current level of usage of various forms of energy, including electricity, natural gas or any form of alternative energy that is used to operate production lines or other customer-owned facilities. Here, the aim is to help customers understand the true costs associated with using various forms of energy.

From there, energy consulting firms often go on to make suggestions on how to improve the use of various forms of energy. Here, the objective is often to help customers develop more efficient methods of using energy, making it possible to reduce energy costs. For example, a consultant may notice that energy is being expended to maintain lighting in a section of the operation that is rarely occupied. Installing sensors that automatically turn lights on and off when employees enter and leave the space helps reduce energy consumption and thus customer energy costs.

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Many energy consulting firms employ engineers who can assess customer-owned structures and make suggestions on changes, such as adding insulation to walls and ceilings, switching from single-glazed windows to double-glazed windows, or replacing heating and cooling equipment. outdated that are unsuitable for space. In some situations, this type of company will oversee the implementation of changes for a customer, taking care of details such as supplier selection and new equipment, and even obtaining any local permits that may be needed before changes can be made.

In general, energy consulting companies use a structured fee schedule for the types of services they offer. Simple inspections and recommendations for changes are often based on flat fees, while longer-term involvement in implementing these changes may require the establishment of a contract. The contract helps define the number of hours that will be billed for the effort and the specific tasks that the company is agreeing to perform on behalf of the client. While hiring an energy consultant can mean a fair amount of expense up front, the cost is usually recouped within a short period of time, based on the difference in energy costs, once the company’s work is completed.

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