The UK public sector procurement organisation recently overhauled an outdated fluorescent lighting system in one of its large office facilities in favour of the latest LED technology – with dramatic results.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helped to finance the work, which focused on the replacement of a fluorescent system that had become inefficient and outdated when compared with contemporary equivalents.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.