Energys Group delivers dramatic efficiency improvements for Waltham Forest educational facilities

Next-generation lighting equipment and boiler controls have been installed at the Edinburgh Primary School and Adult Learning Centre operated by Waltham Forest Council.

The energy-saving potential of a large primary school and adult learning centre in the London Borough of Waltham Forest have been transformed thanks to a significant installation of the latest Energys lighting and boiler control technologies. The new solutions – which were financed via Salix through client and site owner/ operator Waltham Forest Council – have also remedied long-running sensor inadequacies and failure problems associated with previous systems.

The starting point for the project was Energys’ approach to Waltham Forest Council’s energy team with information about the long-term cost savings that could be obtained with its latest lighting and boiler control ranges, as well as the relatively short payback period that could be achieved with even the most extensive deployment. As it turned out this proved to be a very timely conversation as the council’s energy manager, Andras Kis, was already considering the po-tential of new technologies to reduce expenditure at both the Edinburgh Primary School and co-located Adult Learning Centre (ALC).

“We were also experiencing issues with the efficiency of the existing lighting and occupancy sensors, with regular fail-ures occurring at both the primary school and the ALC,” says Kis. “Light were often coming on at the wrong time, or were remaining on all the time, leading to considerable inefficiencies. Despite the fittings only being about seven years old, we were starting to incur hefty replacement costs as well as expenses related to maintenance and support.”

Through conversations with the Energys team – who produced detailed forecasts and specification sheets for project-ed site-wide installations – Kis and his team were assured that the new solutions would make an enduring difference to their facilities’ energy consumption patterns. Consequently, a two-phase programme of work was devised to take place during school breaks in early 2018, ensuring a minimum of disruption to personnel and regular activities. Work at the Adult Learning Centre was undertaken shortly beforehand, in December 2017.

Comprehensive energy saving upgrade

At both sites the final specification drew on a broad cross-section of current Energys solutions, with an understandable emphasis on high-efficiency LED-oriented products. The latest LED light fittings were installed widely, in conjunction with motion/occupancy sensors to make sure that lighting was only used when and where it was required – something that certainly hadn’t been the case with the previous lighting systems and sensors.

The project was extensive and covered all areas in the school, including the sports hall, gym, dining halls, kitchens, la-boratories, staff rooms, classrooms, storage areas, toilets and corridors. The new Energys installation also included the latest outdoor and emergency lighting products, replacing ageing systems that were either technically outdated or no longer in warranty. Meanwhile, the deployment at the Adult Learning Centre spread over two floors and encompassed offices, classrooms, reception areas, a cafe and a canteen.

With the programme of work now fully complete, both sites can look forward to payback periods that are expected to be in the region of five years, as well as significant annual savings of approximately £12,000 across the school and Adult Learning Centre. Not only will these new systems bring lasting reductions to annual energy expenditure, they will also play a crucial role in minimising the sites’ carbon footprints.

In addition, the new lighting comes equipped with multi-year warranties, allowing the school and Adult Learning Centre to lower their forecasts for lamp replacements and associated labour. Indeed, staff at both centres report that the en-ergy savings to date are entirely in line with expectations; while there have also been positive comments about the improvements that have been delivered to the quality and consistency of illumination.

Mr Kis concludes with satisfaction that “the project went smoothly and without disruption – as expected. We are achieving the energy savings and technical benefits of the lighting – again as expected. But the most important aspect for me is that the management teams are very happy with the new lighting. And if they’re happy, I’m happy!”

Read the full Case Study here

Energys Group advises to act before EU Ecodesign lighting updates come into effect

Energys Group Managing Director urges energy, estates and building managers to “avoid delay” and act before EU Ecodesign lighting updates come into effect

Following recent reports that proposed updates to Europe’s Ecodesign laws “will see the effective banning of both tungsten halogen and compact fluorescent as light sources by 2020”, Kevin Cox Managing Director of Energys Group urges EMs/FMs/specifiers/ consultants to push ahead with planned lighting refurbishment as, “the longer they wait, the more they are going to lose.”

Kevin highlights the key factors that could lead to increased costs for customers over the next few years, “including the impact of Brexit on trade tariffs, the rising costs of luminaires, and the changing regulations, all of which could mean replacement costs of luminaires and lamps will be higher in the long term.”

However, rather than waiting until the increasing costs and waste of an ageing system become unsustainable, Kevin urges those responsible for looking after the lighting systems in commercial, industrial and public sector buildings, to take control of the situation sooner rather than later.

“Decision makers and specifiers should avoid delay before it results in a situation where they are unable to find replacement lamps or the costs of basic maintenance become unreasonable. If they seize the initiative by taking advantage of funding today, they will be achieve benefits and savings both in the short- and long-term.”

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Energys Group to showcase LED Lighting solutions on 11th April at The Trust Network National Estates Conference, Corby

The Energys Group Team is set to demonstrate how the efficiency savings from LED lighting can contribute to good estate management and help Multi Academy Trusts release more funds for key front-line education services.

Ian Humphries, Energys Group Senior Account Executive will be on hand to talk to Trust Chief Executives, Treasurers and Managers about the range of practical solutions available, and sharing case study examples.

Ian Humphries comments, “We will be talking to delegates in the exhibition area about the numerous benefits of LED replacement lighting, and demonstrating some of our extensive range of products.

“In the afternoon one of our partner consultants, Jonathan Coyles from EO Consulting, will be presenting a series of workshops on the effective deployment of energy reducing technologies in Academies.

“The presentation contributes to the event’s overall ‘Good Estate Management’ theme, and Jonathan will discuss the effective deployment of energy reducing technologies in Academies – in particular highlighting the benefits of combining technologies such as LED lighting from Energys with renewable generation technologies such as solar PV.”

Mr Humphries concludes, “Our experts will be on hand to guide delegates through the various finance options available and discuss the Return on Investment (ROI) Academies or Multi-Academy Trusts can expect to achieve. Improving energy efficiency in schools not only helps our planet, it can also help fund our children’s growth and learning.”

Energy saving technologies for colleges: Why efficient heat and light make for sustainable education too

Right now, the Conservatives are launching reviews into the costs and expenses of the UK university system.

This makes it a very apt moment to remind ourselves how the most energy efficient technologies can save vast amounts of cash across our education hierarchies; cash that if correctly leveraged could potentially help lower the burdens of funding education.

Sensing these benefits, but also the overarching sustainability and CSR wins offered by efficient kit, Public Sector Build Journal (PSBJ) has recently examined the positives of Energys work in London’s BSIX Sixth Form College.

What’s the story, and does it shine a light on wider options for enabling efficiency across our teaching estates nationally?

Top line savings

PSBJ begins by highlighting the key numbers; LED lighting and dynamic boiler controls supplied by Energys at the East London College are predicted to deliver some £25,000 of annual energy savings.

This figure of course does not mention CO2 benefits; the boiler optimisation work alone will offer 28.66 tonnes per year of carbon savings, great for the environment but also for the college’s ongoing carbon reduction work.

In anyone’s book that £25,000 represents serious cash; the figure is a telling reminder that within an environment where UK teaching remains fundamentally pressured when it comes to cash, it’s simple to achieve both financial and CO2 wins that can offer up money to support teaching in other ways.

Bob Herring, Premises Manager of BSIX College, spoke regarding the economics and the positives of the work carried out by Energys.

“We realised that with the latest boiler control and LED lighting systems we could achieve a dramatic reduction in our energy costs,” he comments.

“We wanted to achieve a greener, more carbon efficient college. Thanks to the collaboration with Energys that has been possible; and all in a mere three weeks of work that had very minimal impact on the day to day activities of the school.”

More handy cash on hand

In terms of lighting, return on investment for this project is set at four years, while the return period for the total investment will be around two years. Remember, after this, the installation starts making money for the college.

“We’re delighted with the work that has taken place at BSIX.” comments Kevin Cox, Managing Director, Energys.

“Clearly, this is a sixth form college and not a university. But here’s an example of an energy efficiency project that’s offering up £25,000 per year to an educational facility and delivering massive CO2 wins as well.

“It seems to me that in the wider debate over tuition fees, we might perhaps want to be thinking about where and why the overall costs of teaching, in all its forms, can be massively assisted by energy efficient tech.

“And surely we ought to be teaching our children this lesson too; that energy efficiency not only helps our planet; it can help fund our children’s growth and learning.”

Energy Group specialises in energy saving technologies for schools and colleges.  Please drop us a line if you’d like to chat about how we can reduce energy costs at your education establishment.

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.

Read the full case study here