In 2010/11, London and South East failed our energy target of 4% reduction in fossil fuel use against the 2009 baseline. We flatlined at 0% – using almost exactly the same amount of fossil fuel as the year before. This turned out to be a good thing! Our Regional Management Team asked us to put together an Energy Efficiency Project to help turn this around.
We had already undertaken environmental reviews of our properties so had a good idea of the sorts of measures that were required (unfortunately, we didn’t have costed plans – something we need to develop to take advantage of future opportunities). We talked a lot to colleagues around the country to find out what they had done – including costs and impacts – and we also researched industry standards and case studies to find out which measures would bring the fastest payback.
We ended up with an Energy Efficiency Project that had seven strands:
- Timers and thermostats installed where missing
- Thermostatic radiator valves installed where appropriate
- Boiler room lagging where missing, including valves and flanges
- Chimney balloons rolled out where applicable
- a review of Building Management Systems – these look after our fabrics and collections by using relative humidity levels to control heating in our historic show rooms
- LED lighting – mainly in non-showroom areas but we have also been trialling the LEDs mentioned in the blog posts below
- Smart meters installed for our highest consuming supplies
We have nearly finished the Project, with just the lighting and smart metering left to complete. We have learned a lot in undertaking each of these strands and I will talk more about these in future posts. Obviously, there are other actions that we could have undertaken and we will be assessing the impact of the work completed and looking at next steps including how to help our properties improve insulation and glazing. Anecdotal feedback has been great with property staff feeling the benefits of the measures. All this came about because of the failed target in 2010/11, fantastic!, but I’m certainly hoping we don’t fail again!