Energys Helps YPO ‘Practice What It Preaches’ with Comprehensive Lighting Upgrade

The UK public sector procurement organisation recently overhauled an outdated fluorescent lighting system in one of its large office facilities in favour of the latest LED technology – with dramatic results.

Based in West Yorkshire, public sector procurement organisation YPO supplies an extensive range of products and services to a wide range of customers – ranging from schools and local authorities to charities and emergency services – in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. With a focus on securing the very best solutions and deals for its customers, YPO also likes to ‘practice what it preaches’ when it comes to its own operations – a principle that was underlined by a recent lighting upgrade project at one of its main office locations.

As a 100% publicly owned organisation, YPO has an obligation to be cost-effective in everything that it does, allowing the maximum value to be returned to the tax-payer. The reduction of energy expenditure was therefore a primary driver of the lighting revamp, although the organisation was also keen to reduce its carbon output and improve the overall standard of illumination to the benefit of employees and overall productivity.

Leading lighting specialist Energys was engaged to work on the upgrade having won a competitive tender through YPO’s own Dynamic Purchasing Framework. CapEx funding helped to finance the work, which focused on the replacement of a fluorescent system that had become inefficient and outdated when compared with contemporary equivalents.

Energys Group Senior Account Executive Ian Humphries recalls that the existing T8 fluorescents “had become very energy inefficient and were delivering poor light levels. To transform this situation we installed Energys New Vision 1200 x 600mm LED panels with Helvar Active iDim control. A total of 90 have been fitted in phases one and two of the project – and the resulting improvements have been pretty dramatic for all concerned.”

Minimum disruption, maximum results

As a business with consistently high level of activity, it stands to reason that disruptive installation work must always be kept to a minimum. Consequently, the Energys team worked out of hours and overnight to guarantee a minimal impact on day-to-day operations – a feature of the service that has been praised by the YPO team.

Once completed, the benefits of the installation became very apparent, very quickly. “There was a dramatic increase in the lux levels, and the offices now look much brighter and more attractive. This is something both staff and management have remarked upon,” says Humphries.

Richard Hudson, who is YPO’s Procurement Manager for Energy, concurs: “This new LED lighting system is a welcome improvement to the YPO building. Staff feedback has been great, and it’s good to see that this investment has improved working conditions, while saving us money and contributing towards our efforts to reduce energy consumption and emissions.”

Moreover, it is evident that these savings are likely to be very substantial indeed – both in the short- and long-term. As a result of the first two phases, YPO stands to benefit from an annual kWh saving of approximately 55,000, equating to a total yearly saving of £6754. With such a dramatic reduction of energy expenditure, the payback period for the new system is predicted to be as little as 2.5 years.

Of course, the energy saving capabilities of the new system will be fully optimised by the decision to implement it alongside occupancy and daylight harvesting technology – ensuring that light is only used when it is needed and where it is needed.

In addition, average life expectancy of 50,000 hours for the panels and a five-year warranty means that the issue of replacements will diminish hugely in importance, while support and maintenance costs will also be slashed.

As Mr Hudson explains, “the new system means that lighting stays on when it needs to be on. Each LED panel also contains a separate movement detector and very gradually dims over time if the sensor detects no movement. I would also highlight the consistent lighting levels that we are now able to enjoy and which meet the stringent CIBSE industry guidelines.”

Reflecting on the successful completion of a project that has brought a whole new standard of illumination to YPO offices, Richard Hudson sings the praises of “an aesthetically pleasing system that lends our locations a modern and streamlined look”. And it’s by no means the end of the story with a projected further two phases of work set to bring the latest LED lighting to other YPO facilities.

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.”

The Energys guide to lighting for leisure centres: increase efficiency and improve customer experience

Leisure centres can save serious money, and serious amounts of CO2, simply by delivering on energy efficiency potential.

‘Just by making a 10% improvement in the management of energy use, UK leisure facilities could save up to £70 million each year and reduce carbon emissions by hundreds of thousands of tonnes,’ explains the Carbon Trust.

‘In a typical sports centre, energy costs are second only to labour costs, accounting for as much as 30% of total running costs, a higher figure than in most other sectors.’

The Trust says heating can account for 60% of total energy costs, but managers can reduce these by up to a third through efficiency. And on average, 25% of an organisation’s electricity costs come from lighting, which can again be cut by a third.

Once you’ve established the savings, look to add value

Given the figures above, it’s a certainty that energy efficient lighting upgrades will save leisure centres money. However, they can also add value to the centre’s operations and add quality to the experience of using the facilities.

When looking at lighting upgrades, additional measures can and should be built in, which offer a much more sophisticated and user friendly experience to the customer.

When that’s the upgrade path chosen, it’s no longer just about saving money. Happier, more comfortable customers will stay customers longer, and report positively on the experience your leisure centre provides.

Daylight harvesting

Daylight harvesting is a technology whereby lighting is adjusted automatically according to natural lighting levels. A photosensor detects the amount of daylight in the room and adapts artificial levels to suit.

“If it’s a bright day outside, the system automatically compensates,” says Energys Managing Director Kevin Cox. “It’s essential that staff can see within sports facilities clearly. And that customers themselves can see comfortably. Daylighting matches internal and external light to achieve this. And it saves energy.”

Scene setting for different sports

Another superbly adaptable upgrade involves scene setting. “Different activities require differing levels of light,” says Cox. “A rapid game of badminton demands almost the opposite ambience compared with yoga sessions for example.

“Using a tablet that can be pre-programmed to suit requirements for different sports, staff can easily achieve the perfect light balance to keep customers happy and comply with Sport England criteria. And staff simply dial up the setting they require in moments.”

LED choices

LED products from the Energys Group can light an entire facility; LED tubes, panels, downlights, hi-bay units with intelligent multi-sensors, wall lights, SON replacement lamps and floodlights all feature in our far reaching projects.

“The right specification of intelligent auto-sensing lights in sports halls and indoor track spaces will also provide additional savings when unoccupied,” comments Cox.

“Our message is this; energy efficiency delivers massive savings at leisure facilities. But look at how the right LEDs and products improve the quality of your offering and day to day life at your centre too. That’s where the real value is found.”

Energys becomes a member of the Lighting Industry Association

Energys Group has joined the Lighting Industry Association (LIA), Europe’s largest trade association for the UK Lighting Industry and its supply chain.

The LIA seeks to represent members that demonstrate the highest degree of professionalism, expertise and ethical standards in every aspect of their operations, including the safety, reliability, quality and support of their products.

LIA_Member Logo_#1Located at the forefront of the industry and dedicated to promoting best practice throughout the sector, the LIA shares its knowledge and provides a wide range of services for members and the wider lighting industry.

As LIA members, Energys Group’s lighting products will be audited by the LIA and are LIA Code of Practice accredited. As part of the LIA’s new market surveillance initiative, Energys will also be subject to random product inspections, performed at the LIA’s UKAS accredited laboratory in Telford. This provides customers with further reassurance that the company’s lighting products meet the high standards specified by the Association.

Kevin Cox, Managing Director of Energys Group says, “By becoming LIA members we hope to give our customers confidence not only in the quality, safety and reliability of our products, but also to show that we are at the forefront of technological advancements and best practice in what is a rapidly changing industry.”

For more information about our LIA membership or for advice on what we do, get in touch.