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.”

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.

New MEES guidance promises vast improvements for energy efficiency in commercial buildings

In recent weeks, industry magazine The Energyst has reported:

‘The government has published guidance for landlords on the new regulations that could prevent them from renting buildings to tenants if they fail to meet minimum energy efficiency standards.’

It’s a crucial development. The Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) come into force in April 2018. But preparatory action now is needed, both to understand MEES implications and get ready for potential remedial works.

The minimum level of energy efficiency provisions will mean that, subject to certain requirements and exemptions:

a) from 1 April 2018, landlords of non-domestic private rented properties (including public sector landlords) may not grant a tenancy to new or existing tenants if their property has an EPC rating of band F or G (shown on a valid Energy Performance Certificate for the property).

b) from 1 April 2023, landlords must not continue letting a non-domestic property which is already let if that property has an EPC rating of band F or G.

This means some 1 in 5 UK commercial buildings would fail the MEES test, and the maximum fine for failure to comply with MEES stands at £160,000 per property.

Therefore, it’s critical that landlords across the UK take notice, right now, of the implications. When implemented well, MEES stand to make UK property substantially more sustainable, and improve the quality of rented space for tenants.

Reputational benefit, longer term tenants and a more profitable portfolio are among the wins for landlords. But to reap such rewards, the sector as a whole must react promptly to what MEES will mean.

What does the guidance say?

The guidance sets out, via a number of flowcharts, the decision process whereby landlords can judge whether a property can legally be let under MEES regs. It also details the MEES laws in depth.

This alone is useful. UK environmental legislation is complex. Pathways to help landlords examine their responsibilities, and set about meeting them are most welcome.

“We recommend that every UK commercial landlord consults the MEES guidance immediately,” explains Kevin Cox, Managing Director, Energys Group.

“It’s vital to do this for a number of reasons. Firstly, you need to comply. You need to plan out any costs, and the timeline of getting energy efficiency in your buildings up to standard.

“All of these elements will affect your business, your profit, your planning and your tenants. Often, the response to rules like MEES is to hide one’s head in the sand.

“That simply won’t wash in this case. MEES are here, and it’s essential to comply. There are huge benefits for landlords who do. You can win new business, based on your reputation as a sustainable letting agent.

“You will hold tenants for longer, who prefer the more comfortable heating and cooling systems in your sustainable, intelligently managed buildings. You will be ahead of the game; an example of futureproof, modern business.

“And of course, you will save money on potential fines, while your energy efficient buildings will command higher rents than the competition.”

The Government guidance is available here.

Energys Group offers free site surveys to guide you on the most cost-effective energy efficient solutions for your building. Get in touch for advice.

Salix announces new energy efficiency funding for Academies, MATs and Sixth Form Colleges

Salix has developed a new fund in partnership with the Education Funding Agency (EFA) that focuses specifically on energy efficiency projects.

The Salix Energy Efficiency Fund (SEEF) is available for all academies, including those in large Multi-Academy Trusts (MATs) as well as sixth form colleges (SFC).

The fund is directed to those academies and SFCs that have energy efficiency projects that need capital to invest to save but may not meet the Condition Improvement Fund’s (CIF) condition need criteria.

This could include projects such as lighting or heating controls, LED lighting, insulation or boiler/heating system upgrades

Energys Group has helped many schools and colleges successfully apply for Salix funding, such as Hackney Community College, which is saving 320 tonnes of CO2 a year as a result of Salix-funded upgrades. We can support you through every step of the process, from application through to installation.

For more information on the fund, visit the Salix website; or contact Energys Group to learn more about how we can help.