The Energys explainer: How to detect costly compressed air leaks

Many businesses rely on air treatment systems, or use compressed air in other parts of their operations, from wrenches to spray guns or desiccant machinery.

In all these examples, compressed air leaks are a serious problem. A compressed air leak of just 3mm diameter can cost more than £700 a year in wasted energy, and that figure is generally even greater for gasses, says The Carbon Trust.

With this in mind, it’s essential to investigate the best solutions to finding, preventing and fixing air leakage in your facilities.

What you can do to combat air leakage

Energys offers reliable, non-intrusive surveys to help you remove compressed air and other gas leaks. Our comprehensive solutions use a digital probe to listen to pipework and machinery, to identify costly problems.

Remember; the savings identified are typically around £700 per leak, per year.

Just as importantly, while checking air integrity, our engineers can find out if the bearings in your machinery are under or over-lubricated, and detect the earliest stage of bearing failure.

This makes our surveys an essential tool for planning preventative maintenance works. Since over-lubricated bearings mean that their life expectancy is reduced, correcting this problem can also reduce machinery costs.

Comprehensive, detailed reporting

Following each survey, we produce a report, which identifies the costs of each problem and the remedial works that need to be undertaken.

“Energys reports are reliable, honest and easy to understand,” says Kevin Cox, Managing Director, Energys. “We know the real damage that air leakage can do to your business.

“This impacts in terms of cost and reliability, but it also impacts in terms of your reputation and whether you’re keen to be seen as an energy-efficient, sustainable firm.”

Act on energy waste immediately

More information on our comprehensive site-survey to detect air leaks and other faults is available here.

And don’t forget, there are all kinds of other areas in which Energys can help deliver improved energy efficiency, and hence real cash savings, across your estate.

All of the energy saving technology we offer is detailed here. It’s well worth taking a moment to consider how we can help your organisation achieve a truly futurist, energy efficient operation. Contact us for advice on the most cost-effective solutions for your organisation.

Everyone Active set to save nearly £76k with intelligent, energy-saving lighting upgrades

0LED-based solutions have been successfully implemented at three of the leisure operator’s sites in the UK.

With a reliance on complex and power-intensive building systems, leisure centre operators are continually on the lookout for new technologies that can help to reduce their energy expenditure. Established in 1987, Sports and Leisure Management (SLM) is no exception, and continues to optimise its use of technology at approximately 145 leisure and cultural facilities across the UK.

For a recent upgrade initiative at three council leisure sites operating under the consumer leisure brand Everyone Active, SLM enlisted the input of leading lighting specialist Energys Group, which is part of its energy management strategy team. In a pattern well-established by previous projects, the Energys team – led by Business Development Manager Raj Gunasekaran – set about researching viable energy-saving solutions in order to determine how much money might be saved over the long-term.

In the wake of a successful deployment of boiler control and valve wrap solutions a few years ago, it was decided that a comprehensive installation of the latest LED-based lighting was the best way to achieve further savings. The new specification was designed by Energys to comply with Sports 4 England criteria, ensuring optimum comfort and efficiency.

Financing energy efficiency

Energys has a distinguished track-record of assisting companies and organisations to benefit from energy-related funding schemes. In this instance, the upgrade was financed by Energys’ own Pay From Savings scheme, whereby SLM paid 30% of the fee on completion and the remaining 70% from savings. Designed to minimise capital outlay, the saving over the lifetime of the lease is ex-pected to be in the region of £76,000 across the three leisure centres.

“As with a number of other leisure complexes in the recent past, the scheme has made it possible for SLM to implement these hugely beneficial new LED-based solutions, with positive results both for the overall cost of the operation and the comfort of patrons,” says Gunasekaran.

Solution specifics

Across all three sites, the upgraded lighting installations draw on the latest LED products from the Energys Group range. LED tubes, panels, down-lights, hi-bay units with intelligent multi-sensors, spotlights, wall lights, outdoor wall lights, SON replacement lamps and flood lights all feature in the far-reaching projects.

The specification of intelligent auto-sensing lights in sports halls and indoor track spaces at each of the three sites – in order to provide additional savings when unoccupied – was another important aspect of a project that also encompassed indoor stadiums, gym and dance studios, offices, cafes, kitchens and store rooms, among other spaces.

The installations at three leisure centres – Westgate, Bourne and David Weir – were completed in no more than two weeks apiece during December 2016 and January 2017. But whilst the work itself might have been fairly quick, the benefits are destined to be long-lived. For example, the projected energy savings at Westgate are £26,774 and 243400 kWh, with a return on investment (RoI) of just 2.4 years.

Underlining SLM’s commitment to carbon reduction, the sites will also benefit from a reduced environmental impact as a consequence of the new lighting. For example, at Bourne, a CO2 reduction of 58 tonnes per year is expected, whilst the figure rises to an impressive 180 tonnes per year at David Weir.

Daylight harvesting and scene setting

Designed to incorporate daylight harvesting (whereby lighting is adjusted according to natural lighting), the new solutions are easily controlled by staff using a tablet that can be pre-programmed to suit requirements for different sports. The end-result has been a dramatic improvement in conditions, says Chichester Contracts Manager Stuart Mills, who oversees the Westgate and Bourne sites.

“The standard of the lighting is so much better now,” he says, highlighting in particular “the greatly enhanced conditions around the poolside, with obvious benefits for health and safety since the life-guards can now see more easily to the bottom of the pool! Visually the new lights are a nicer, brighter white and it makes such a difference to the spaces.”

Despite the long opening hours at each centre, installation was planned to be as non-disruptive as possible, says Katie McKeown, General Manager at David Weir Leisure Centre. “We are open from 7am until 10pm on weekdays, and 8am until 6pm on weekends, but Energys worked around our usage patterns, so there was no need to cancel any classes or activities. As a result we didn’t receive any customer complaints during the process.”

Mark Ford is the Southeast Regional Technical Manager at Everyone Active, overseeing 70 of the 140 or more sites Everyone Active operates. He is delighted by the quick and efficient turnaround of the upgrades, and the positive impact they have had at all three sites.

“The quality of the lighting really enhances the facilities and has had immediate impact on customer feedback,” he says, “but I must also pinpoint the dramatic savings that we are going to enjoy for many years ahead. In addition, we are an organisation that takes its commitment to carbon reduction very seriously, so these upgrades will deliver a dramatic advantage in that regard. Consequently, I fully expect us to initiate similar projects at other sites in the future.”

Rugby High School enjoys ‘significantly improved’ illumination from energy saving LED upgrade

The comprehensive LED-based lighting upgrade is expected to deliver annual savings of £12.5K and a return on investment of only 4.5 years.

Increasing instances of lamp failure, a recognition that the quality of the illumination could be better, and a desire to take advantage of energy savings accruing from the latest LED technology informed a recent upgrade at Rugby High School in Warwickshire. The major, site-wide overhaul was undertaken by Energys Group and funded by Utility Rentals’ operational lease scheme.

As the school’s Business Manager, Allan Kerr, explains, “it had been clear for a while that the old lighting was nearing the end of its useful life. Lamps were beginning to fail on a more regular basis, meaning that we were spending more money on replacements and maintenance. In addition, we were working on plans for a new sports hall, and if we had kept with the existing lighting we would have had to increase our electricity supply.”

Having engaged the services of energy efficiency technology specialist Energys Group to advise on the project, it quickly became clear that a comprehensive LED lighting upgrade would both reduce demand on supply and enable substantial energy savings. Consequently, the two parties began work on a lighting overhaul to encompass the main hall, music theatre, classrooms, science labs, gym, sports hall, corridors, staircases, communal areas and the languages block.

‘Dramatic improvement’

The resulting installation draws on LED products from across the Energys Group range, and includes tubes, panels, down-lighters, spotlights, wall-lights, outdoor fittings and flood-lights. Mere weeks after the project was completed – with a minimum of disruption to the operational practices of the school – it was evident to school management and personnel quite how much of an improvement the new systems had delivered.

“For the first few weeks after the deployment staff kept coming up to me to remark upon the new lighting. In particular, the increased standard of illumination in the main hall, gym and science labs was singled out for specific praise,” recalls Kerr.

Whilst the quality of the lighting was immediately apparent, its benefits in terms of energy savings will become more evident over the medium to long-term. As a result of the massive upgrade – which ran to 712 new LED lamps and 575 LED fittings – Energys predicts a return on investment of just 4.5 years. Annual energy savings are expected to total £12.5K and approximately 104,985 kWh’s, with a reduction in CO2 emissions of 55.84 tonnes per year.

Raj Gunasekaran, Business Development Manager at Energys Group, says that “the improvement in lighting conditions across the entire site is very discernible, and of course the energy savings are also going to be very welcome – particularly in the current challenging economic climate for the education sector. But it’s also important to highlight that improved lighting often translates to happier pupils and staff, meaning increased productivity and quality of work.”

‘Brilliant scheme’

However, there is another important element in the mix here and that is the funding provided by Utility Rentals. Having investigated some other schemes but concluded that they were unlikely to deliver the finance in the necessary time-frame, Kerr instead applied to the Utility Rentals operational lease initiative, with Energys Group providing guidance and assistance throughout the process.

As Utility Rentals director Steve Mattey explains, the scheme is fast, guaranteed and “available for any school in the country – no matter what size or establishment type. The rental scheme is cash-positive from day one, with repayments covered by the energy costs saved. The repayments are also fixed and won’t go up year on year, and can even be deferred until 12 months after the lighting has been installed.”

The Rugby High School application was successful, and Kerr reports that he was struck by “how straightforward the process proved to be. I am also pleased with the fact that if any failures occur, replacements will be provided at no cost. It really does take the risk element out of what has been a substantial undertaking.”

Reflecting on the completion of another comprehensive lighting upgrade in the education sector, Gunasekaran says that “the benefits Rugby High School is now experiencing as a result of implementing the latest LED lighting technology are now increasingly commonplace throughout this market. At Energys we are able to support this transition with a comprehensive range of LED solutions, so it’s no surprise that we have many comparable projects on the agenda for the rest of 2017.”

Election 2017 results: Energys analyses the implications for green legislation and low carbon

Election 2017 turned out to be a revelation, with the Conservative majority lost and a new power-brokering tightrope set to dominate Westminster.

In a hung Parliament, what will become of environmental, low carbon priorities? Here’s the opinion breakdown…

Could Brexit soften?

The Environmental Industries Commission (EIC) suggests a weak Conservative Government may end up negotiating a softer Brexit.

In its industry update, EIC argues this in turn could make it more likely that UK environmental law post-Brexit will mirror EU law indefinitely (the EU Parliament stated recently that full UK compliance with all EU environmental regulations is a non-negotiable part of any UK/EU trade deal).

So, Election 2017 could increase certainty in some environmental markets. But equally a weak UK government must make an unstable and unpredictable run up to Brexit more likely, which could have serious economic repercussions.

Soft Brexit is likely good for low carbon, but instability and poor economics are not. Hints are it could be a choice between two devils.

DUP influences

Business Green thinks, ‘There will be particular concern amongst green groups about the DUP’s record on environmental issues and climate change.’ Following Conservative losses, a DUP partnership looks to be Theresa May’s only way to try and govern.

At the time of reporting, no alternative had been offered for a Labour-led coalition. Corbyn has offered to form a government, but Liberal Democrats are saying coalition isn’t on the cards.

Business Green notes the DUP manifesto does call for, ‘A secure and sustainable energy supply for both domestic and business customers.’

But it makes little or no mention of renewables, energy efficiency, or climate policy. “The perception of the DUP is not a pretty one for renewables and climate change,” an industry source told Business Green.

“Their manifesto is one we’ve been looking at for a while, it is not openly hostile, but also not particularly big on renewables, although there is a big focus on reducing manufacturing costs.”

Business Green also observes that industry hopes a hung Parliament may provide an opportunity for a cross bench informal coalition on climate and energy issues. “There is alignment on climate and energy issues across major party manifestos,” their source continued.

“The electorate is clearly divided, and not along party lines, so it’s really important that we all grow up and all work together on certain issues, and the green economy is one of those.”

Energy plans

Conservative energy reforms, proposed in their manifesto, could now be out to pasture; they may lack the votes, DUP or otherwise, to get them through. The new pot for industrial energy efficiency could also be threatened.

Overall; ‘Britain’s green policy is now at a standstill, and sustainability professionals will be concerned that this could cause a further delay to the release of some major proposed environmental legislation, such as the Clean Growth Plan and the 25-Year Environment Plan,’ writes EDIE.

But, ‘On the plus side, the Conservatives’ loss of seats will mean the party can be more closely held to account over the level of ambition when it comes to key environmental legislation.’

Election 2017 tears up the rule book

In every sense, the political floodgates are now open.

Paddy Ashdown has tweeted; ‘If this election was about Brexit, then must we not conclude that Britain has rejected Mrs May’s hard Brexit?’

That softening could be welcomed by some groups. DesmogUK argues; ‘As things move forward, it’s looking like it will be a lot harder for significant environmental deregulation to take place without a fight. Meaning staying strong on environmental policies could be an easy win for the opposing parties.’

This illustrates the fascinating balance of tit for tat and real world policy-making that is today’s politics. Jonathan Bartley, The Green Party co-leader, spots more dichotomies, noting; ‘The Green Party got nearly twice the votes of climate-denying DUP, who may now have a hand in Government.’

Of late, politics truly has become a strange brew. All that’s guaranteed is low carbon must fight for progressive, disruptive energy and environment policy to maintain high billing in the new Westminster.

That in itself is nothing unusual. But the unexpected circumstances of the coming battle have shocked everyone.

The Energys explainer: How can boiler optimisation improve your efficiency and bottom line?

Increasing the efficiency of existing boiler systems through intelligent controls is a simple and cost-effective way that organisations can save energy, with minimal disruption to operations.

Energys has created a simple explainer, to help you understand the benefits of boiler optimisation and, in so doing, open up valuable cost saving opportunities for your business.

Boiler optimision: The basics

What is it?

In simple terms, boiler optimisers adapt your existing boiler systems to improve the efficiency, without unduly affecting the temperature of your building.

How does it work?

Intelligent boiler controls reduce the number of times a boiler ‘cycles’. This, in turn, reduces the overall ‘burn’ time. By reducing the number of times a boiler fires up, it is possible to reduce the wasted oil or gas due to incomplete burn at start up.

Because intelligent boiler controls simply eliminate a source of energy waste, the temperature of the building is not affected.

Who would benefit?

Intelligent boiler controls are best suited to boilers that are:

  • Floor-standing
  • 50kW or above
  • Gas or oil-fired

This includes:

  • Forced draught burner boilers up to 2MW
  • Two-stage firing boilers (HiLo)

Whether you’re liable under the Carbon Reduction Commitment, aiming to improve your Display Energy Certificate, or racing to meet CO2 targets, boiler controls can help you to reduce your carbon impact. And in all circumstances, burning less fuel saves you money.

Need I worry about installation and disruption?

This is a technology that is fast and simple to implement. Hyde Park Junior and Infant Schools in Plymouth were equipped with four Energys Dynamic Burner Management Units in just a single half day of work.

“There was also the fact that the work could be undertaken while the boilers were live, so there was no need to take them offline for a period,” notes School Bursar Stella Copping. “The result was an installation that entailed no disruption in the short term, but which promises to deliver substantial benefits for our schools over the long run.”

Energys Group can deliver full ‘turnkey’ solutions covering installation, maintenance, monitoring and support, including supply and installation as a single package. In addition, we offer a 5 year warranty on both the product and installation.

What are my funding options?

Public sector

Energy efficiency funding, like the Salix scheme, is available to help increase the efficiency of existing boilers. Energys offers a public sector leasing scheme in partnership with Utility Rentals which requires no upfront capital outlay.

Private sector

The Energys Pay to Save scheme is a new offering from Energys Group, where your energy savings fund the project.

It is designed to help you avoid any need for capital investment and enables you to accelerate your path to a lower carbon footprint. Each agreement is individually negotiated with you and allows for a degree of tailoring to meet your organisation’s particular needs.

The final word on payback

The upward trend of fuel prices is likely to continue, but improving the efficiency of your boiler can secure ongoing savings on your fuel bills. As a result, payback on intelligent boiler controls is normally achieved in less than two years.

Energys boiler optimisation case studies

Organisations of different sectors and sizes are reaping the benefits of boiler optimisation technology. Testament to this success are our case studies, which illustrate the true opportunities real world installation provides.

Hyde Park Junior and Infant Schools

Through a leasing arrangement with Utility Rentals, for Energys Dynamic Burner Management Units, this school has achieved annual energy savings of 15%, some 9.45 tonnes of CO2 saving, with a 2.5 year payback.

Avon & Somerset Constabulary

The Avon & Somerset Constabulary has made impressive savings in gas consumption across 10 of its locations, thanks to patented boiler optimisation technology from Energys.

Avon and Somerset Constabulary is achieving annual savings in gas of 14-25%, averaging 18.8% across 10 sites where the units have been installed. Another huge benefit is that the system offers a remote access function, ensuring immediate and comprehensive visibility with regard to gas consumption and savings.

To find out how boiler optimisation could work for your organisation, contact us for a free, no obligation site survey.