Imtech and Harrogate District NHS Foundation Trust Collaborate to Successfully Deliver Energy Savings

Imtech and Harrogate District Hospital have recently unveiled a new Energy Centre, following a programme of improvements to the mechanical and electrical infrastructure. The enhanced systems will deliver guaranteed savings of over £15m in the next 25 years (approx. £635,000 per annum) directly benefitting frontline care for the hospital.

Over the last 18 months Harrogate’s Estates Team and Imtech’s engineering teams have been working within the Carbon Energy Fund (CEF) framework to identify, design, specify and install numerous improvements to the mechanical and electrical systems across the hospital, with the guaranteed savings providing not only financial and carbon benefits to the Trust but also a significant reduction in the Trust backlog. These initiatives include:

  • Installing a new electrical infrastructure consisting of High Voltage substation and generator network. This has improved the resilience of the electrical systems on site and created more capacity.
  • Replacing expired boilers with new high efficiency dual fuel steam boilers combined with a CHP and waste heat composite boiler. With the introduction of a new absorption chiller, the heat can be used during the summer months when less is required, thereby improving the system’s energy efficiency. The CHP system also provides the ability to export electricity back into the Electrical Distribution Network at peak times to maximise savings.
  • Replacement of old light fittings for energy efficient LED lighting throughout the site. This provides annual electricity cost savings and patients have benefitted from a more natural, stable light. Also, through taking time to discuss requirements in various locations, the team were able to make 20% of light fittings redundant, as some wards were deemed to be too bright. This project is maintenance free for the next five years due to the lifecycle of approximately 9,000 LED light fittings.
  • Imtech’s innovative approach was realised in a solution to utilise waste heat, created by the main system. Usually lost into the atmosphere, this heat is rerouted to the top deck of the hospital car park and reused within the underfloor heating system to de-ice the surface, eliminating gritting costs.

Ensuring the new infrastructure successfully delivers on its guarantees for the next 25 years is the responsibility of Imtech Inviron, the technical facilities management arm of Imtech. Imtech Inviron’s experienced engineers will ensure the continual optimisation of the systems through the implementation of a planned preventative and reactive maintenance regime across the Harrogate Hospital site.

The savings will be monitored constantly over the 25 year period to prove that the savings have been achieved, with continual independent monitoring and verification by the CEF all for the Trust’s benefit.

Phil Sturdy, Deputy Director of Estates, Harrogate & District NHS Foundation Trust commented: “This scheme will support the Trust in continuing to deliver high quality patient care supported by robust engineering infrastructure, capacity to support future clinical developments, reduced backlog maintenance obligations and reduction in energy costs and emissions in line with its Carbon Management Plan.”

Noel Clancy, Managing Director, Imtech Inviron said: “It is extremely rewarding to be involved in this project that will make such a difference to NHS funds for frontline care. Low carbon solutions are a key sector for us and following the successful installation of the new infrastructure services at Harrogate, we look forward to delivering the maintenance regime for the next 25 years. I am confident our specialist team will continue to innovate and ensure the systems are fully optimised to deliver the guaranteed savings.”

Peter Fairclough Director of CEF said “We are also delighted with the success of this scheme, which we see as a template for how significant backlog issues can be addressed by using the CEF financial model and contract, and we look forward to proving the savings work throughout the term of the contract.”

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Hydrogen project advances clean energy deployment

The successful installation of the hydrogen technologies at the Levenmouth Community Energy Project represents the dawn of a new energy era, according to specialists Logan Energy.

The Edinburgh-based company has designed, supplied and installed a state-of-the-art hydrogen-based energy storage systems and two mobile hydrogen vehicle refuelling units at Methil, in Fife, Scotland.

The renewables industry is becoming increasingly important to energy supply. Scotland has recently produced more electricity from renewables in a single day than it used. However, energy storage is required to match production with demand. Hydrogen is one of the key solutions to this dilemma.

Logan Energy believes this project is a turning point in positively proving the case for hydrogen as a key clean energy solution.

Hydrogen has been demonstrated at Levenmouth to be a significant resource for both electricity and heat requirements, as well as a sustainable zero emission transport fuel which can drive the energy sector through the global clean energy revolution.

Bill Ireland is CEO of Logan Energy, a hydrogen and fuel cell specialist business which is also responsible for the installation of over 1.1MWe of fuel cell based clean energy technology in the UK. He said:

“At the Levenmouth Community Energy Project we have delivered what many visionaries have been talking about for some time and shown that it can be integrated into the existing energy systems for stationary power and transport needs.

“The drive for increasing our reliance upon renewable technologies is not new but the economic need to do so, and means to time shift energy, has never been more pertinent. The work we have completed at Levenmouth is a true first and highlights the power of hydrogen as a standalone multisector energy resource that also supports existing energy networks.

“This is a milestone in the energy sector and marks the practical delivery of a new hydrogen based energy era.”

The energy balancing system designed and installed by Logan Energy comprises a 250kWe Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) Electrolyser, a gas storage arrangement and a 100kWe PEM fuel cell. Coupled with a smart control system, the energy balancing is achieved by generating and storing hydrogen when there is excess renewable energy available. The hydrogen is then used to power the fuel cell to provide power to the private wire network at times when there is insufficient renewable energy being generated.

The mobile refuelling units are self-contained modules, based upon ISO shipping container dimensions, so they can be readily transported and easily relocated from site to site. These are used to refuel Europe’s largest fleet of hydrogen hybrid vehicles which includes vans and refuse lorries.

Hydrogen is stored at the site and reconverted to electricity at times when on-site wind and solar generation is low, helping to offset the intermittency of renewable energy as well as being compressed and stored for 350bar refuelling of vehicles.

Logan Energy will maintain the newly-installed systems for the next five years during which information will be gathered and assessments made on the performance of the different technologies implemented.

Bill Ireland added: “Seeing just a snapshot of the potential of hydrogen becoming a reality here in the UK is a tremendous step forward.

“As world leaders in the deployment of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies in commercial applications, we are pleased to have played a pivotal role in this project which is so important to the integration of the renewables industry in our energy strategy.

“The UK, and Scotland in particular, has a wealth of expertise in the energy sector. There is a massive potential to harness the skills and the innovative mindset that drove the growth of the traditional energy sector and bring that to the hydrogen and wider renewables sectors.”

With Scottish Government support, Logan Energy has assisted the traditional service industry to develop their existing skill sets to support this rapidly growing sector and, on the back of new global projects, the company is set to build on this knowledge base.

Logan Energy was founded in 2005 and has a vast amount of experience designing, installing, commissioning and maintaining fuel cell and hydrogen energy systems in the UK and Europe.

Levenmouth Community Energy Project comprises Bright Green Hydrogen Ltd along with Fife Council, Toshiba, Leven Valley Development Trust, Fife College, BOC (for hydrogen transport), Green Business Fife, Community Energy Scotland, and the Scottish Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association (SHFCA).


eSight Energy are named in Top 10 Energy Management Software Review

An independent review conducted by Business Energy highlights eSight Energy as one of the top 10 Energy Management Software Providers.

Within the review it is highlighted that eSight Energy is global therefore it is perfect for an international company as well as being ideal for smaller businesses as the software is scalable for those who cannot justify a large system.

Other aspects of the software highlighted are the web-based nature of eSight, meaning it can be accessed anywhere and its worldwide capabilities to work with multiple currencies and cultures.

The author, Alex Loijois, states that, “eSight directly converts a company’s consumption data into monetary units, making it easier to digest. One thing that really sets it apart is its ability to set up a revenue contract, which is meant to be used in tenant billing… A global company could probably take advantage of eSight’s international data focus.”

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£9 Million Trigeneration scheme for Veterinary Campus

The University of Edinburgh is set to harness the power of trigeneration in a new £9 million energy project which will revolutionise the way they produce heating, cooling and electricity at their Easter Bush Veterinary Campus.

The system, which is being delivered by Vital Energi, will capture the waste heat created during electricity generation and use it to produce heating for buildings at the Easter Bush campus.  In the warmer summer months when there is less demand, the heat will be converted into cooling, ensuring maximum efficiency all year round.

The project will also see Vital Energi install a 4km, thermally efficient, buried district energy network which will transport the hot and chilled water around campus.

Mike Cooke, Regional Director for Vital Energi commented, “The public sector have been at the forefront of Scotland’s decarbonisation initiative and The University of Edinburgh are a great example of how embracing sustainable technology can deliver more affordable, reliable and lower-carbon energy.

“Trigeneration is an exciting technology as it can operate at maximum efficiency all year round and our similar installations have a great track record of reducing emissions and saving money, so it’s an ideal solution at Easter Bush where they have a clear vision to deliver a 21st century, low-carbon campus.”

The energy centre will be powered by a 1.5MWe Combine Heat & Power engine and two 4MW boilers.  Cooling will be provided by a 1.5MWc vapour compression chiller and both heating and cooling systems will have a 100m3 thermal stores.

This will be the second energy centre delivered by Vital Energi for the University of Edinburgh after a successful installation at their Holyrood Campus.




Energy Assets Gets Tactical to Tackle Energy Waste

Energy Assets, one of Britain’s leading multi-utility networks, metering services and control companies, has launched a tactical tool to help industrial and commercial organisations identify energy waste that could potentially be costing them millions of pounds each year.

The analytical tool, developed to complement the company’s AMRdna service, powered by kWIQly, crunches half-hourly metered gas and electricity data to measure actual performance against what is verified to be the best possible consumption profile. This allows multi-site operators to see energy waste issues as soon as they emerge.

“Energy waste results from things as simple as not adjusting building heating or cooling systems to take account of changes in Daylight Saving Time, outside weather conditions and leaving lighting on overnight,” says George Catto, Client Services Director at AMRdna. “Our algorithm uses detailed consumption data to ‘learn’ what optimal performance should look like within individual buildings and across portfolios – and when exceptions occur, for example when equipment is left on accidentally, the system flags a deviation.”

Energy managers have historically used automatic monitoring and targeting systems to benchmark performance, but this does not offer true insight into optimal energy performance, only variation over manually set metrics. AMRdna’s software automatically remodels energy parameters on a daily basis, using half hourly gas and electricity data to spot unusual patterns of consumption.

“When it comes to energy efficiency, energy managers have exhausted most of the easy wins, such as LED lighting, and now what they need is a simple, fast and remote way of identifying energy waste hidden within their portfolio,” says George. AMRdna provides this information through automatic reporting or interactive web pages.

The insight provided by AMRdna is now being augmented by Energy Assets through the company’s Lynkswitch system, which provides energy managers with the ability to remotely control electrical loads, including switching off electrical loads should an unusual consumption pattern be identified.

Says George: “In one instance, our data showed a spike in energy usage in a retail outlet, which turned out to be an extractor fan running continuously. So we fitted a Lynkswitch module – and now the energy manager has remote control over the device if it needs to be switched off. When data-driven control such as this is replicated across entire building portfolios, the savings can be huge.”
Strategic analysis of energy consumption within buildings undertaken using the AMRdna tool has to date revealed potential savings of up to 15% for electricity and 30% for gas.

“Our forensic approach to energy waste is certainly gaining traction in the retail sector and is also creating a lot of interest in the public sector, where energy managers can be responsible for a portfolio of hundreds of buildings. For them, the analysis of existing consumption data provides a very effective and economical way of identifying opportunities for eradicating energy waste.”


Sub Metering: A risky afterthought during development projects

Joanne Merry, Technical Director, CARBON2018

Sub metering is often considered to be a relatively small part of a multi-let new build / re-development project. As a result, it is usually addressed at a later stage as part of the wider electrical and mechanical systems and is not given the attention it deserves.

From an operational perspective, metering forms a critical element of the internal systems required for a property to run effectively. Without access to data relating to the quantity and distribution of energy usage across a site, it is not possible to effectively manage and minimise energy usage, nor accurately recharge tenants for their proportion of the total energy consumption. Failed or inadequate metering systems present property managers with a number risks, not least the impact this has on cash flow where there is an inability to recover the costs paid out for energy from tenants.

Due to the importance metering has on operations, it is necessary to take a comprehensive and joined up approach to the metering strategy which needs to start at design stage and be followed through to commissioning and building completion. Input needs to be given from all of the building stakeholders throughout the process. Getting the metering design, installation and commissioning right prior to practical completion saves unnecessary cost and hassle further down the line.

We have witnessed a number of projects where the metering has been nothing short of a disaster, with remedial works required often costing more than the original system cost to install in the first place. The issues we have encountered cover the complete spectrum from the use of incorrect types of meters, to installation issues resulting in meters recording inaccurately, through to a complete lack of system commissioning.

One example is a new build, mixed use, multi-occupied property we surveyed in the West End. Due to the building’s mixed use nature, it would not have been equitable to recharge electricity, heating, cooling or water costs proportional to the square footage occupied due to the different operating hours and loads placed on the system by the range of occupiers. Therefore an extensive metering system was installed comprising electrical, heating, cooling and water sub meters. However, upon inspection, more than 80% of the mechanical meters had problems including oversized meters which were therefore under recording, meters installed at the incorrect orientation to be able to record accurately, and a lack of commissioning of heat meters meaning that temperature probes and flow parts were located in the wrong pipes. The remedial work undertaken to get the system to a standard where it could be used for accurate tenant billing and management of energy in this complex building cost over £200k and included several meter replacements.

To deliver a robust and reliable metering system that avoids these problems requires many considered steps to be taken.

Firstly, to increase the attention given to metering on construction projects, the approach must treat metering as a specialist system in its own right, and not just an add on to the electrical and mechanical systems. Metering needs its own full design, specification and commissioning specialist to give it the attention it deserves. It shouldn’t be tucked away into three pages of a 300 page electrical and mechanical specification. It also needs to be recognised that whilst electrical and mechanical designers and installers are extremely good at what they do, they are not generally specialists in metering. Engaging with a metering specialist for the project is paramount.

Furthermore, consideration needs to be given to metering throughout every stage of the project including design. At design stage, the strategy developed must be informed by the objectives of the building stakeholders, which can only be established by engaging with them. All too often, metering strategies are based on meeting Part L of the building regulations. However, building regulations set only a minimum standard; simply ticking the Part L compliance box does not always address the other common objectives of metering such as tenant billing, participation in incentive schemes (like the Renewable Heat Incentive) and energy reporting. Each metering strategy should be tailored to the specific requirements of the project – cutting and pasting from one specification to another will guarantee that things are missed, or as we have seen in many cases, results in a jumbled ‘shopping list’ of requirements which are not even compatible with one another. There needs to be a clear direction and strategy.

Ahead of installation, consideration also needs be given to the type of meters required. There are a myriad of meters on the market. The assessment must include factors such as the registers from which you wish to record the data, whether MID approval is required, the size of the supply and location. Whilst cost is also a factor, this should not be at the expense of addressing what is required to meet the objectives. Going for the cheapest option at the outset often ends up being the most expensive option in the long run as meters end up being replaced which is not only costly but is also very wasteful. Heat meters are a particularly expensive type of meter in comparison to other meters. We have witnessed numerous occasions where the cheapest heat meter option has been sought, which entails purchasing a standard low accuracy water meter as the flow part and bolting this together with a heat meter calculator. However, this solution can result in issues with compatibility between meters and data accuracy problems and consequently nearly always ends up with the meters being abandoned or replaced. The introduction of the Heat Network (Metering and Billing) Regulations in 2015 means that where heat meters exist in multi-let buildings with communal heating and cooling systems (or for district systems), there is a legal requirement to maintain them and use them for billing. Abandonment is therefore no longer possible and the only option is to spend out on remedial works to get the meters up to scratch.

Having selected the right meters to be installed in the right positions, the final piece in the jigsaw is to ensure their correct installation and commissioning so the meters record accurately. Until recently, many metering systems saw no commissioning at all and issues were only identified once the system was in use. You wouldn’t install a heating system, cooling system, fresh air system etc. without full commissioning, and the same needs to be true of metering. This must include checking for the correct installation and setup of the meters themselves, point to point testing of the connectivity between the meters and AMR system, validation of the data on the AMR head end again meter registers, review of documentation and testing of the communications for remote access to data.

In summary, implementing a best practice approach to metering which uses the objectives to inform the strategy, incorporates all relevant stakeholders’ views and includes regular reviews/updates as required throughout the project lifecycle will result in a system which delivers and meets the needs of building stakeholders once the site is operational. The key outputs derived from such systems can then include tenant billing with full and transparent backing data for tenants, energy performance dashboards indicating actual building performance against predicted, and exception reports/alarms to highlight the occurrence of anomalies and issues in order that these may be acted upon to minimise wastage.

About Carbon2018 Limited

Carbon2018 has been providing energy solutions to the UK real estate sector for over 24 years. It takes great pride in its joined-up approach which is tailored to meet each client’s individual energy management, sustainability, and water service requirements. Its comprehensive range of technical experience means that all energy and sustainability related issues can be assessed for their impact on key stakeholders and the building’s ability to function. It focuses on demonstrating value by seeking to understand its client’s business goals then working in partnership to help achieve them.  Carbon2018 believes that the key to any company’s success is its people and it is passionate about energy and the environment. To find out more, please visit its website:


Storage is a smart energy solution

By John Hudson, Managing Director, Boston Renewables

Many experts agree that the solution to the future of Britain’s energy supply is not just the development of more generation, but the intelligent use of existing generation capacity to balance the peaks and troughs of supply and demand. A correctly balanced National Grid will work better and help to control electricity price inflation. Through its Power Responsive initiative, the National Grid is actively promoting grid balancing, otherwise known as demand side response (DSR), to organisations of all sizes in the public and private sectors. There are opportunities for all to engage in and benefit from grid balancing. Battery storage is emerging as the key enabler.

Not only does battery storage help the grid manage electricity in a smart way, but it can also deliver a valuable income stream for the organisations that participate in the grid balancing schemes. Facilities managers are at the heart of these new developments.

An on-site energy storage system comprises lithium ion batteries with inverters and switchgear often housed in a metal shipping type container and installed on the organisation’s site. The system typically works by storing cheap night-time electricity or surplus generation from on-site renewables.  Users can switch to the stored power on a daily basis to avoid peak time electricity pricing and, therefore, reduce their energy costs.  Failsafe Triad management and on-site UPS are additional benefits to battery storage schemes.

Generating income

Energy efficiency has long been the buzz phrase for facilities managers, with many organisations just focusing on energy cost savings. Battery storage, however, provides the additional dimension required to move beyond cost saving and actually generate valuable income from providing balancing services to the National Grid.

By bringing organisations into grid balancing schemes, two things happen. First they are financially incentivised to take less electricity from the grid when demand overall is too high. Second, when there is a surplus of electricity on the grid, for instance during the night, their on-site batteries become stand-by assets that the grid can call on to store the excess electricity so it is not wasted. The organisation is paid by the grid for use of these assets.

The requests and payments for all this are done through the “internet of energy”. Sometimes large organisations contract directly with National Grid, but most will work through aggregators that have direct links to the battery storage developers. There are many and varied contracts and models for battery storage and DSR. The key for the end user is to engage with a developer that offers a bespoke and complete solution.

Who can participate?

If an organisation has half-hourly metering installed and spends more than £50,000 annually on electricity, it is likely to benefit from an integrated storage and DSR scheme. It is particularly suitable for organisations with processes that operate beyond normal office hours.

Organisations with multiple sites also benefit, as unlike the feed-in tariff system, there are no restrictions on the number of storage assets and DSR contracts a company can own or participate in.

Facilities managers usually start the process by making the business case for the initial investment in storage systems and renewables that will become an income stream for their organisation.  Energy storage can be enhanced if it is integrated with onsite renewables, like a wind turbine or solar PV array, but it also works as a stand-alone system.

Return on investment

Typically, the financial returns on capital employed are at least 11% and sometimes over 20% using the internal rate of return (IRR) metric for capital investment. Flexible finance options are offered by some storage developers to offset the initial investment in the battery system.

The future

It is likely that more organisations will participate in and benefit from grid balancing schemes as DSR becomes better known and early entrants are seen to reap the benefits of these schemes; electricity storage systems and smart metering will be key enablers.

The risks are not as high as many suppose. Facilities managers will always stay in control of their assets, they can set the parameters within which they will respond to grid balancing requests and their on-site operations will not be compromised.

This is all part of a wider trend to use energy in a smarter way. In June 2016, the National Infrastructure Commission noted that Britain needs to solve its energy challenges not just through more generation but also by increasing flexibility in its electricity system.



Energy Minister to address Britain’s biggest energy challenge at 2016 Heat Conference

Baroness Neville-Rolfe, Minister of State for Energy, will address Britain’s biggest energy challenge at the forthcoming Heat Conference.

Heat accounts for almost one half of UK energy costs and the cost of heat continues to rise. Britain faces an urgent challenge in transforming how homes, offices and industry are heated; in its recent report Next Steps for UK Heat Policy, the Committee on Climate Change put it simply: “deployment of low carbon heat cannot wait until the 2030s”.

The Association for Decentralised Energy (ADE) and the Energy Institute (EI) will place the challenge of heat centre stage at the 2016 Heat Conference, to be held in Central London on Wednesday 23 November.

This year’s conference explores how the ambition for global change, as set out in the Paris Agreement, can be transformed into local action. We will look at real life examples of user led change, examine the policymaking process and find out how technology and data innovations can help to enable the heat transition.

Alongside Baroness Neville-Rolfe, confirmed speakers include:

  • Matthew Bell, Chief Executive, Committee on Climate Change
  • Martin Crouch, Senior Partner: Improving Regulation, Ofgem
  • Sue Daley, Head of Programme for Big Data, Cloud and Mobile, TechUK
  • Dan Osgood, Director for Heat and Business Energy, BEIS
  • Michael Pawlyn, Director, Exploration Architecture and noted TED speaker
  • Wilfred Petrie, Chief Executive Officer, Engie UK and Ireland
  • Laura Sandys, Founder, POWERful Women
  • Frauke Thies, Executive Director, Smart Energy Demand Coalition

You can book online at Significant discounts are available for public sector organisations, academics, charities and SMEs. The last two heat conferences have sold out, so we recommend booking early to confirm your place.

Heat 2016 is sponsored by Engie, and is essential if you are interested in:

  • Our energy economy against an uncertain political landscape
  • Engaging users of heat with controls and management
  • The role of heat in supporting a competitive and innovative industrial sector
  • The future of district heating networks
  • The transformational potential of new technologies and data

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Site surveys could lead to significant energy savings

Energy savings of up to 40 percent can be made, starting when a company agrees to a site survey, it has been revealed by pump specialist, Dura Pump.

Pump systems used in commercial environments often waste a huge amount of energy, through common issues such as incorrect specification, or running constantly at full power when such capacity is rarely needed.

Dura Pump visits thousands of sites each year and at a majority of them, regardless of sector, there are opportunities to create significant energy savings. After improvement works are specified and carried out, the payback in reduced energy costs can be achieved in as little as six months.

A spokesperson at Dura Pump said “Most facility or site managers are unaware of the huge opportunities to save resources. On the few occasions where they are aware, they can be unsure of how to go about making improvements.”

To improve awareness of energy-saving opportunities, and as an incentive to save energy, the firm has announced it is offering a free luxury hamper with every quotation that ensues from a site visit, until the end of October 2016.

Dura Pump’s team of friendly experts have been helping companies with their pumping systems for 10 years, and take pride in being able to support their customers at the same time as honouring their commitment to the environment.

To contact Dura Pump to learn more and arrange a quotation, visit


Energys boiler management controls boost Devon schools’ economy drive

Hyde Park Junior and Infant Schools in Plymouth were equipped with four Energys Dynamic Burner Management Units in just a single half-day of work.

From low-consumption lighting infrastructures to more acutely optimised heating systems, schools and colleges of higher education throughout the UK are beginning to reap the benefits of technologies designed to boost operational efficiencies and reduce energy bills. As a company with a variety of solutions in this area, Energys is well-placed to observe this ongoing transition – and has a rapidly expanding portfolio of project credits to prove it.

A recent installation at two related schools in Plymouth, Devon – namely Hyde Park Juniors and Hyde Park Infants – is a case-in-point. Occupying a site dating back to the Victoria era, the schools have lately been engaged in an economy drive that has also included the specification of solar panels and a change in energy service provider.

During 2015 the schools’ attention was drawn to the possible contribution to be made by Energys’ boiler optimising technology, which is able to improve the efficiency of a boiler without affecting the temperature of the building. As bursar Stella Copping recalls: “Carl Challinor from the Primary Association of Plymouth Headteachers recommended Energys’ Dynamic Burner Management Units (DBMUs) to our team, and it soon became evident that this technology could play a fundamental role in helping us to reduce our energy consumption. The general ease of installation was another factor that made us keen to investigate an installation of this kind.”

Implementation became even more attractive when the schools were made aware of a leasing arrangement to fund the project, available through Utility Rentals Ltd. This scheme enables educational establishments, council premises and Government departments to enjoy the benefits of this technology without incurring significant upfront costs.

“This scheme made it possible for us to press ahead with a programme of work to bring Energys DBMUs to a total of four boilers on our site,” notes Ms Copping.

Minimum disruption

Regarding the operating principles behind the DBMUs, Energys project and operations director Gavin Skipsey explains that they are “based on a technology that optimises the firing pattern of a boiler – thereby delivering gas/oil consumption savings by extending the cooling curve. It has also been shown to greatly reduce dry cycling as a consequence.”

Payback in 2.5 years

In the case of the Hyde Park schools, Energys estimates that the project’s supply and installation costs of £4400 will be recovered in approximately 2.5 years. An annual energy saving of 15% – equating to £1734 per year – is predicted by Energys, equating to a robust yearly CO2 reduction of 9.45 tonnes.

“These forecasts are of course greatly encouraging as we continue to develop a programme that will reduce energy bills and carbon consumption across the board. This is very much an ongoing initiative for us, and one that is highly important to the future projection of the schools,” remarks Copping.

But equally compelling in the pre-installation period was the assurance that Energys and Utility Rentals were able to provide about the non-invasive nature of the fit-out. The Energys DBMUs can be installed in as little as half-an-hour, and indeed the work at the Hyde Park schoools was carried out during the course of a single half-day.

“There was also the fact that the work could be undertaken while the boilers were live, so there was no need to take them offline for a period,” notes Ms Copping. “The result was an installation that entailed no disruption in the short-term, but which promises to deliver substantial benefits for our schools over the long-run.”

‘Well worth investigating’

The fact that the energy saving forecasts resulting from the DBMUs are so significant is further magnified by the knowledge that the schools’ boilers are actually relatively contemporary in design. It therefore follows that on premises with older, legacy systems, the reductions in energy expenditure can be even more dramatic – frequently as high as 30%.

“Our experiences with the introduction of this technology over the past six months have been hugely positive, and I would consider any school looking to minimise their heating expenditure to investigate the possibility of installing boiler optimisers,” concludes Stella Copping. “And whereas modifying or replacing some other systems can be time-consuming and disruptive to daily school life, this was about as easy an upgrade project as you could imagine! I would also highlight the high standard of support offered by Energys throughout the project.”

Final word goes to Gavin Skipsey, who remarks that the experience of the two Plymouth schools is “by no means uncommon as education providers become more highly informed about the role of boiler optimisation as part of a broader commitment to reducing their energy bills and carbon footprints.”