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.”

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.

Why finding the best energy efficient funding tackles price rises head on

Today’s businesses face an urgent challenge; energy prices are going in one direction, up. Logically enough, this makes the case for energy efficiency even more compelling; the less you use, the less you spend.

At Energys, the evidence behind rising costs is mounting. “When we estimate energy saving calculations for customers, we’ve recently based their calculations on energy prices of around £0.11p/kWh,” explains Raj Gunasekaran, Business Development Manager, Energys.

“But today, speaking with my clients, I find their real world energy charges are in some cases as high as £0.17p/kWh.

“It’s my job to track the market, and I’m keen to stay ahead of the game. But the trends increasingly make it clear that for my customers to stay ahead too, as energy prices have gone up, they must think smartly about reducing energy use.

“If they don’t, they risk losing more and more money. Contrastingly, building efficiency into their activities, as a barrier against rising prices, makes the benefits of using less power even more valuable.”

The proof is in the pudding

Proving the point, The Telegraph writes: ‘Wholesale electricity prices have climbed 32% from last year due to concern over the country’s wafer-thin power supply margins.

‘UK energy suppliers have shouldered the highest wholesale market costs in 2 years, and face further cost hikes ahead alongside a political crackdown on rising bills.’

No matter what your position on the politics of electricity costs, it’s clear the wisest firms should act now, to protect themselves against the financial pressures of the UK energy landscape.

Costs are rising, and no matter why, staying in business is about tactically minimising your energy usage today.

Energy efficient funding; beating price rises the smart way

For plenty of firms though, there’s a challenging disconnect. Energy efficiency saves you money, but you have to spend to install it. Or do you?

“Many organisations don’t even need to use upfront capital,” says Gunasekaran. “We understand that sustainability measures come with a cost.

“Even if that cost is payed back rapidly, as is usually the case in a couple of years, you still need to find a way to pay for efficiency at the point of install.

“Therefore, Energys operates flexible and bespoke funding solutions, to remove the barriers to energy efficiency.”

The promise of the pound

It’s always tough to take spending proposals to the board, especially in times of heightened external costs on energy. But now, more than ever before, thinking strategically is key.

Energy efficiency reduces costs, and adds extra wins when such costs are ramping up day in day out. It also adds reputational benefit, and will likely improve the quality of your estate and the happiness of your employees.

Contact us today, and see how financing LED improvements can help insulate you against UK energy cost volatility.

Hackney Community College saves £25K a year with second major Salix-funded LED lighting upgrade

Following a successful LED conversion project by Energys Group in 2015, 2016 has seen the East London college make a further investment in the latest Energys lighting technology.

Energys estimates that combined savings of the two projects will be £95K per year.

During the second half of 2015, Hackney Community College (HCC) in Shoreditch, East London, implemented a substantial lighting upgrade that resulted in more than 4,900 lamps being converted to LED. The new systems were supplied and installed by Energys Group, which also provided boiler optimisation controls and specialist insulation as part of a far-reaching energy efficiency initiative.

With expected annual savings of £70,000 and a return on investment (RoI) of only 2.8 years on the lighting side of the project alone, its impact has been significant. It is perhaps unsurprising, then, that HCC recently decided to move ahead with a second lighting upgrade – this time focusing on internal spaces not covered by the earlier project, as well as external areas of the campus.

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“The Energys LED lighting has brought a definite, cost-efficient improvement to the quality and comfort factor of lighting inside the college, and it made sense to optimise the remaining areas in a similar fashion,” says HCC Communications Director Ruth Lomax. “This time work focused on the dance and performing arts studios, a number of classrooms and offices, corridors, and outdoor areas of the campus.”

Energys’ Business Development Manager, Raj Gunasekaran, adds: “As with the previous project, it was evident that the latest generation LED lighting could deliver significant cost reductions for the college. We specified a number of our most popular current products during the Phase Two upgrade, which took place over the course of four weeks in autumn 2016.”

Salix success again

As in Phase One, Energys was able to bring its comprehensive knowledge of the Salix funding scheme to the table. Once again, the college secured financial assistance under the Salix College Energy Fund with the assistance of the Energys team.

The project called on a variety of products from Energys Group’s industry-leading New Vision range. In the internal areas, specified items included LED tubes, panels, downlighters, wall lights, dimmable solutions and spot lights. Outside, the new installation comprises a blend of LED uplighters, bollard lights, eyelid wall lights, photocell units, floodlights and path lights.

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The project was completed to a stringent and quick-turnaround timetable, but its benefits are likely to be long-lived indeed. Energys estimates that the new internal lighting will save the college £16K a year, with a return on investment (RoI) of 2.6 years. Meanwhile, forecasts indicate that the new external lighting will save £9K a year, giving the college an RoI of 4.5 years.

“These are compelling figures,” says Gunasekaran, “and underline the benefits that LED lighting has both in terms of immediate and longer-term energy savings. With increasingly stringent carbon targets in mind, more and more schools and colleges are now converting to all-LED infrastructures, and we expect that trend to intensify in 2017 as awareness continues to grow.”

The college is full of praise for the Energys team’s ability to supply and install such a substantial amount of new lighting technology in what was a very limited timeframe. “The project went smoothly and there was no impact on college activities,” said Ruth. “But above all we would highlight the quality of the new lighting – it is much more consistent and comfortable for staff and students.

“We had high expectations of Energys and its LED lighting systems after Phase One, and we am delighted to confirm that they have been fully satisfied.”

Energy saving ideas for schools; what’s the best path to upgrading Victorian and Edwardian school buildings?

The Independent writes that an estimated 3,000 UK schools are thought to have Victorian buildings. While they may be fine pieces of architecture, such edifices are sadly, unsuited to modern learning.

The problem is worrying; the Guardian says 43% of school buildings in the South West aren’t fit for purpose.

Aging high ceilings, rising damp, poor insulation and cold, unpleasant lighting and aesthetics are common. They are damaging the next generation of skilled youngsters.

David Simmonds, Conservative Chair of the Local Government Association’s children and young people’s board, told the Guardian; “What we mustn’t do is to get into a situation where schools have to close because things are so bad.”

Rather than knocking down historic educational infrastructure, a wiser approach seeks to retrofit for sustainability, breathing life back into these beautiful but presently inadequate learning environments.

LED lighting for schools can help save energy with quick ROI

Although just part of the solution, LED lighting upgrades from Energys have been proven to benefit both aesthetics and the learning experience in older schools; revitalising their appeal for this century.

Located in Tower Hamlets, Harry Gosling Primary School is a case in point, having recently instigated an LED upgrade at its Edwardian-age site. The new lighting is set to deliver £7,000 annual savings, with return on investment (ROI) in just 4 years.

In terms of the end result, there is no doubt a dramatic improvement in lighting quality has been achieved. “Light is now a lovely daylight colour and is uniformly diffused, while there are no issues with glare; Energys products having been designed with a very specific focus on reducing glare,” says School Premises Manager James Doherty.

Salix funding for Victorian legacy buildings

For managers tasked with working out how to save energy in schools, finance is often a key barrier. Salix funding can provide the solution: it delivers 100% interest-free capital to the public sector to improve energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions.

It is therefore a simple way that schools can make tangible improvements at no upfront cost; pay back the loan with the energy you save. Across the country, Estate Managers have called the scheme a no brainer, and many are thrilled with the results.

Doherty is a staunch supporter of the scheme and its usefulness in Tower Hamlets: “Because of Salix funding, the school is essentially not incurring any additional costs for the project since repayments can be made from the energy savings.

“It pains me there are so many other schools around the country putting up with bad lighting that is wasting energy and also impacting negatively on the learning experience.

“Evidence about the positive benefits of LEDs for education is increasing all the time. In the future, I would love to show other schools around to help showcase the advantages of the latest LED lighting.”

The wider challenge

“There are so many Victorian or Edwardian school buildings struggling with an inadequate learning environment,” comments Kevin Cox, Managing Director, Energys.

“At Energys, commitment to sustainability and energy reduction is our key driver. Recently, the Government has recognised the need to improve energy efficiency via the Priority School Building Programme.

“The Programme isn’t available to all schools however. But nonetheless, all can improve; we are delighted to advise any school that approaches us; we know holistic measures help aging schools save energy and keep children warmer and happier.

LEDs, boiler controls or power optimisation, all are coherent, logical energy saving ideas for schools upgrading from legacy buildings to sustainable equipment, fit for purpose now and into the future.”

Energys Group is a leading specialist in retrofit solutions that achieve energy saving in colleges and schools. Contact us for advice or to ask for a free, no obligation site survey.