Reducing energy usage in the prison environment

As a man who's worked in the prison service for more than 30 years Brian Coats may be used to a more captive audience than at the Nemex seminar.


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But, he’s promising, in his case study of energy conservation in a prison environment to give an arresting performance.

Mr Coates will talk about why energy conservation in a prison is a unique business, where the power needs of thousands of inmates has to be carefully managed.

He’ll give an insight into a world the vast majority of delegates will only have seen in film explaining how energy conservation can work in the prison service.

The talk will explain how the current prison system is poles apart from the common image people have and was portrayed in classic sitcoms like Porridge.

He said: “When we go home no one tells us when to turn off the lights and it’s like that in prisons now.

“If a prisoner doesn’t want to turn his light off at night he doesn’t do it, with 100s of prisoners that soon adds up.

“At the same time you’ve also got some prisons with between 500 and 1000 cells and many are still heated with a four-inch Victorian pipe with no way to regulate individual cells.”

Mr Coats has pioneered prisoner involvement with energy saving initiatives as he points out the best way to get the message over is to work with the people who are there ‘day in day out’.

He added: “We run competitions like designing energy saving posters with the winning prisoner getting his design displayed around the prison with his name on it.

“Now if that poster went up with my name on it’d get torn down or defaced, but when they see it’s one of their own it stays there.

“This helps get over the message about reducing energy and, helps with them with their rehabilitation and gives them something they can take back with them when they’re released.”

Luke Walsh

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