lighting upgrade to the County Hall headquarters of West Sussex County Council in Chichester has reduced its lighting energy consumption by a staggering 40%, as a result of a project to replace its old fluorescent lamps with energy-efficient equivalents using the retrofit converter device, ‘Save It Easy®’ from Energys Group.

West Sussex is tackling its carbon footprint head on. Far from shying away from its new responsibility under the legally-binding Carbon Reduction Commitment, it has sprung into action, with their Carbon Management Team charged with seeking out ways of cutting carbon. The Council has put in place an ambitious target to cut 10% from its carbon dioxide emissions every year.

In addition to investing in measures like boiler controls and additional insulation, the Council also identified lighting as a key source of energy waste. The old-style fluorescent lamps that were in use across the majority of Council buildings were driving up CO2 emissions. However, the Carbon Management Team felt that it would be uneconomical and wasteful to rip out and remove all of the existing light fittings, in order to make way for the new T5 lamps, which crucially differ in size and technical specification from the old lamps. A retrofit solution was in order.

Retrofit solution

“We needed a lighting solution that could allow the new, energy-efficient fluorescent lamps to be slotted into the existing fittings,” comments Nicola Winser, Carbon Management Officer at West Sussex County Council. Save It Easy seemed to fit the bill. We undertook extensive trials of Save it Easy which was enough to convince both our energy management and maintenance teams that a retrofit solution was the right one  for the Council”.

Salix funding requirements

Another reason for the trial was to ensure that the lighting project met the requirements for government-backed Salix funding. “I’d spoken to colleagues in the public sector, who confirmed that Save It Easy was an easy way to qualify for funding under Salix to upgrade to energy-efficient lighting,” says Ms Winser. “We also trialled another similar lighting product, but in the end we found Save It Easy to be superior, and the customer service by Energys Group was first class.”

With Salix funding secured, the Council went ahead with upgrading to energy-efficient lighting in its main County Hall campus in Chichester, where approximately 1,400 council staff work. In total, 1,016 old-style lamps were replaced with low-energy T5 equivalents using the Save It Easy converters.

Energy savings from lighting upgrade

As a result, the County Hall building has been able to reduce its annual consumption of electricity by 133,179 kWh – that’s a 40% reduction in lighting energy use. This translates to a cost saving of £6,266 every year.

The Council is also saving 29 tonnes of CO2 every year just as a result of the County Hall lighting upgrade. This has been a welcome carbon-cutting triumph for an organisation that’s been keen to not only improve its environmental profile, but also reduce its financial burden under the Carbon Reduction Commitment.

Targets exceeded

“Last year, we were able to exceed our carbon reduction target, cutting emissions by 10.5%, and we’re on track to do the same again this year,” comments Ms Winser. “We also placed in the top 25% of the first Carbon Reduction Commitment league table.”

“Projects like the Save It Easy upgrade have contributed to the Council’s success in cutting its carbon footprint,” continues Ms Winser. “In fact, we were so impressed by Save It Easy that we have rolled it out across most of our fire stations, large libraries and council buildings, like Durban House, and we’ll soon be installing Save It Easy in our smaller libraries, too.”

By mobilising finance through the Salix fund and tackling sources of energy waste like old-style fluorescent lighting, West Sussex County Council has been able to make real strides in cutting its carbon emissions.

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