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Putting energy at the top of your agenda

Oct 21, 2015

In a period of stubbornly high energy prices, James Dubois, our Energy Procurement and Sales Director, believes companies of all sizes need to start putting “energy efficiency” at the top of their agendas. James suggests making an energy-saving list, ideally compiled after discussions with everyone in the business, and prioritising the things that can be introduced straight away. These should include:

  • Turning appliances and monitors off at the socket when they are not in use (they use energy even in stand-by mode)
  • Reducing room temperatures by 1°C (the only difference you will notice is the savings of up to 10 per cent on next year’s bill)
  • Installing cheap gadgets such as flow restrictors, self-closing taps and low flow showerheads (all proven to cut your hot water usage and reduce your overall water bill)

For longer term benefits, bigger energy efficiency solutions such as LED lighting should be an area of focus. LED lighting is a growing area that offers companies great saving opportunities. Funding and grants for projects are available and these can cover the initial upfront costs for installing new lighting into a building which are paid back over a number of years through the savings achieved.

Not only do LEDs consume ten times less energy than incandescent bulbs and three times less energy than fluorescent tubes, but the average life expectancy of LED fixtures is roughly 50,000 hours more than the average florescent lamp, so maintenance costs are significantly reduced while performance remains excellent for years.

Our sister company LASER recently completed an LED installation project for Churchill Primary School in Folkestone. The business manager initially decided to replace 22 of the 60 watt exterior halogen lights with 20 watt LEDs and when he noticed the instant savings from replacing the perimeter lights, he asked LASER to carry out a full audit of the school.

The report recommended installing suspended lighting in the classrooms, auto LEDs in the toilets and cupboard areas and LED signs to replace emergency lights and fire escape signs. Having reduced the monthly electricity consumption by 19 per cent and saved around £1,200 a year, the business manager said: “all my expectations were met, and not only have our consumption and costs been reduced but the installation has created new areas to teach in and fun placed for the children to learn in.”

James believes LEDs offer enormous potential for both energy savings and improved working environments – lighting is one of those things that gets overlooked when offices are redecorated but there are some really interesting LEDs on the market and the prices have dropped significantly in recent years. On average, we are seeing monthly energy consumption reduce by 20 per cent through the installation of LED lighting but just as importantly, our clients report reduced eye strain and better use of previously ‘gloomy’ areas. So, if you haven’t already compiled an ‘energy saving list’, put it on the agenda for your next staff meeting. And if you would like one of our lighting specialists to undertake a free lighting survey of your building call us.