Case study: How a modern office improved its energy efficiency

You've got a modern, well-insulated office with no drafts to plug and few obvious easy wins when it comes to cutting the energy bills and helping the environment. So where do you start?

The Universities & Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS), the organisation that processes applications for university places, employs over 300 staff and operates from a modern fully air-conditioned office complex in Cheltenham.

With an annual energy bill of around £343,000, UCAS contacted the Carbon Trust for a free energy survey to identify ways it could reduce its energy costs and reduce carbon emissions.

The results of the survey were turned into a practical action plan with the following recommendations:

  • Appoint an Energy Manager from within the facilities team tasked with specific responsibility for energy and energy savings
  • Install energy sub-metering, to allow detailed monitoring and targeting of energy
  • Install weather compensating condensing boilers for radiator circuits to bring about higher efficiency
  • Review the operation of the air conditioning system, to make it more efficient and provide a more pleasant and productive working environment for employees
  • Provide heat recovery on main air handling systems
  • Increase lighting efficiency by replacing halogen lamps with LED lamps
  • Provide a speed control on chilled water pumps, to match the amount of water pumped to the actual demand

    The survey identified that UCAS could save around £19,000 a year on its energy bill, equivalent to 294 tonnes of carbon dioxide.

    John Cappock, Director of Resources at UCAS said: "We had ourselves already identified and implemented some low cost opportunities where energy savings could be made. However we wanted to take this further and develop an energy policy, so contacted the Carbon Trust to help us identify additional savings opportunities.

    "We were impressed with the thoroughness of the survey and we are in the process of implementing all the recommendations. As a result we are now operating more effectively and making considerable savings on our energy bill."

    To find out more, businesses can call the Carbon Trust Advice Line on 0800 085 2005 or visit the Carbon Trust website: www.carbontrust.co.uk

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