Yorkshire Coast College has saved almost £70,000 net as a result of an energy-efficient lighting upgrade using T5 converter ‘Save It Easy®’ from Energys Group, which has consistently delivered savings on energy and maintenance costs over a six-year period.

Yorkshire Coast College, a busy further education college in Scarborough, North Yorkshire, prides itself on providing both excellent teaching and first-rate facilities. However, the energy and maintenance burden associated with keeping up these high standards at its main campus was taking its toll. As well as being affected by rising electricity prices, the college was also spending a lot of maintenance man hours on its lighting. The older, fluorescent lamps that lit the college didn’t just use a disproportionate amount of energy, they constantly needed replacing as well.

High priorities, limited budget

“The maintenance need here was high,” comments Geoff Adams, Facilities Coordinator at Yorkshire Coast College. “We’d also made saving energy on-site a priority, especially since the introduction of legislation like the requirement for Display Energy Certificates. But, the reality was, we had very limited budget to spend on any upgrades. We didn’t have the money for completely new lighting, even though the old-style fluorescents were a problem.”

Access to funding

However, Geoff discovered that there was a possible solution to both the funding issue and the lighting issue. “I received a leaflet about investing in T5 retrofit technology using government-backed Salix financing,” he says. “We found out that Save It Easy from Energys Group was a plug-in converter that could upgrade the existing fittings to accept low-energy T5 lamps – and the cost could be covered by a Salix loan. This was a solution that I knew had been used successfully by our fellow members of the Association of Colleges.”

With Salix funding secured, Yorkshire Coast College went ahead with an installation of 2,978 Save It Easy converters and T5 lamps, in sizes ranging from 2ft to 6ft, at its main campus on Lady Edith’s Drive. There was no disruption to students or staff, as Save It Easy was installed during the school holidays.

Six years on

The low-energy lighting has now been in place for six years and, during that time, the savings have stacked up. According to Energys Group’s calculations, the installation has been a huge success in environmental terms, allowing the college to reduce its electricity consumption by 237,468 kWh a year, netting an annual carbon saving of 102 tonnes of CO2. This adds up to a total saving of 612 tonnes of CO2 so far.

Steve Adams, Business Development Director at Energys Group says the financial savings have also been significant. “Our figures show that with an annual saving of £24,962 in energy and maintenance costs, the installation paid for itself in just over three years. After deducting the cost of Save It Easy, the college has made a net saving of £68,203 over the past six years”.

Great strides

“We’ve been really happy with how the Save It Easy converters have held up over the six years they’ve been in place,” says Facilities Coordinator, Geoff Adams. “The light quality is much better than it was previously – it’s brighter and we don’t have the same problems with glare on the students’ computer screens that we had with the old lighting.”

“The energy savings have been fantastic and they’ve helped us to improve the college’s Display Energy Certificate rating,” he adds. “The maintenance burden of the lighting has also been eased: the long lifespans of the T5 lamps mean that they need replacing far less often. In terms of addressing energy waste and maintenance pressures, we’ve really made great strides.”

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