Sustainable Building Futures: Energy Survey Reduces Annual Electricity Bill

Monday 27th of January 2014 12:00 AM

The Sustainable Building Futures project is a unique venture that engages with eligible small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in the collaborative development, assessment, and implementation of innovative environmental technology products and services for use in sustainable construction.

The project endeavours to provide support to SMEs, based in the West Midlands region, with a view to enabling them to compete and grow within tomorrow’s challenging business environment. The project offers services fully funded by Coventry University and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

 

The Challenge

A manufacturing business in Warwick needing investigation to produce options for reducing their factory’s energy bill.

The premises were visited on a working day to observe typical work patterns. All energy consuming equipment in the factory was noted according to location, usage pattern and consumption. An analysis of the previous year’s energy bills immediately identified electricity usage as the major cost to the company.

Using this data, together with our observations, we were then able to calculate what percentage of the annual daytime electricity bill could be attributed to each item and area within the factory and from that identify at least three actions to immediately reduce costs.

 

Three Cost Cutting Ideas

1. Improve space utilisation in the offices. The upstairs office has space for 25 people, but is currently only used by two. Relocating these staff downstairs negates the need to heat and light the upstairs section.

Capital required: £400 moving costs

Savings made: £660 per annum

Payback period: Under eight months

Additional benefits: The unoccupied first floor office suite could be rented out to a third party company, creating an additional income stream for the company.

 

2. Create a dedicated low lit storage zone. 99% of production activity is located on one side of the factory, with storage on the other. Moving the sole employee located in storage to the production area enables lower lighting levels on the storage side.

Capital required: £750 moving costs

Savings made: £760 per annum

Payback period: Under 15 months

 

3. Reduce the activation period for external safety lights. 150W sodium lamps around the car-park are currently activated between 3pm and 10pm. The premises are secure with all employees off site by 6pm, so the lights should be turned off at that time.

Capital required: None

Savings made: £90 per annum

Payback period: Immediate

 

To discuss how we can work with you, please contact the Sustainable Building Futures Team: sbf@coventry.ac.uk

Category: Innovation