Hiring an energy consulting company in California who is trained to identify problem areas in your blueprints, is money well spent, for it will allow for maximizing savings and bottom-line return on investment for your client.
Whether you are designing a residential or commercial building, hiring an energy consultant during the initial design phase of the project can save you a significant amount of time and money. It is always easier to design it code compliant from the start, than to make changes and improvements to the design during construction.
But, with so many energy consulting firms to choose from, how do you know which firm is the best?
This article provides an overview of the top six qualities that make a reliable and trustworthy energy efficiency consultant for your architectural project.
Look at value, not just price
Too many architects across California choose an energy consulting firm simply on the basis of cost. They get several bids, and the lowest one gets the job. However, we encourage you to make an informed decision on more than just price.
An energy consultant will make early recommendations for the project to meet energy efficiency standards. When included in the early design phase, changes or improvements are often considerably less expensive than when made late or during the construction phase.
Results speak louder than words
It is not easy for firms to find an energy consultant among the many firms promoting themselves as “energy experts”. A prudent architect should be able to quickly separate a company which talks about “estimated energy savings” from those which have proven results. For this, check or ask for references, case studies and client testimonials.
Experience counts in energy efficiency
A skilled consultant must be able to analyze existing systems and suggest improvements, while detecting potential performance issues. This task requires not only academic knowledge, but also professional experience, so before hiring a consultant review his or her experience with fieldwork or design.
Knowledge is power
The main reason you want to hire an energy consultant is because they will have specialized knowledge that you do not have. They will be aware of the changing trends in the energy industry, and how best to navigate through existing regulations.
Pick an energy efficiency consulting firm who knows the local jurisdiction idiosyncrasies to assure that your blueprints will proceed smoothly through the inspection process.
LEED consultants are the ones to hire if you want to make sure that your new construction project has the best chance of achieving LEED certification at the level you want (platinum, gold). They can also advise you on the expected costs to hit each level and help you make the best choice for your goals.
Independent advice is key
Make sure the company you hire does not take commissions from any supplier of energy or suppliers of equipment. If they do take commissions, they can have conflicts of interest. Do they recommend that you buy from the supplier paying them the highest commission? Do they recommend some energy saving devices because they will significantly reduce your energy consumption, or because they will significantly increase their bank balance?
Clients always come first
You don’t want an energy consultant who doesn’t put your needs first. You want someone who will work with you to discover your needs, not try to make your needs fit their advice and criteria.
Choose an energy consultant who is willing to take the time to analyze what you need, and design solutions to fit. The energy consultant is there to find ways to improve any deficiencies in your blueprints so that every part of your design is the best it can be.
A solid understanding of your business is needed to develop a tailored energy risk management strategy that evaluates all energy saving options.
Get in touch
Professional energy efficiency consulting should be one of the first items on your list before you start off with a design project.
E3 California Inc. will guide you through the maze of information on how your building’s solar orientation, window placement & selection, insulation types and selection, HVAC sizing and duct-work layouts affect its efficiency and compliance with California’s energy standards.