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These energy assessments form a part of legislation aimed at reducing carbon emissions. It does this by helping operators of systems to do the same. Accredited assessors visit a site and carry do a survey of the systems and using a checklist they look for issues that impact efficiency and condition. This ensures a consistent application of an approved method. Finally, the engineers write a report that outlines their observations and makes recommendations.

Problem

With any fixed list of topics in a checklist, there tends to be a reasonably fixed number of responses. So for instance for, the question “Are the air filters acceptable?” there are a couple of possible observations, like

  • The filters were good
  • The filters were dirty
  • The filters were missing
  • The filters were the wrong type
  • The filters were not fitted correctly

For each, there is an observation and recommendation of action the operator needs to take. Most engineers have lots of these already written and our latest version of the app has more than 400 with over 13,000 words.

These would normally be in word processor documents, spreadsheets, and databases. And herein lies the problem. To write the report each one has to be found and cut and pasted into the report. This is less than ideal, with 100+ items in the checklist and sometimes dozens of items of equipment. Not to mention the dozens of other data points like model numbers, serial numbers, and descriptions. This made process time consuming, costly, and above all frustrating.

Solution

We built an app that replicated the checklists. It incorporated the hundreds of topics and standard observations and recommendations. Using the app on site, engineers worked through the checklist on screen picking the correct observation. Effectively, writing the report and adding content with single touches of the screen. The report also contains a series of calculations, which are quite simple, but mistakes are easy to make. The app takes care of these as well.

Outcome

After measured trials in the field, the app reduced the whole process time from start to finish from 13 to 8 hours. It meant the customers saved 40% on every job. Each one is now turned around quicker with the majority of the report content written on the site. In addition, customers saw a marked improvement in consistency and reports needed less proofreading.

In all a good job!

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