posted by Jeremy Carter

Making
the cut: Scarborough borough council

Energy manager Jeremy Carter says he looks forward to meter-reading day at the end of every month. And with the town hall's gas consumption down 82%, it's not hard to see why


As Scarborough council's energy manager, it's my job to reduce consumption, so if I'm successful, the council's emissions should follow suit. We've been making a concerted effort to reduce our emissions since we secured Salix funding and signed up to 10:10 in July 2010.

By August we'd started committing projects, and started seeing the benefits in the last half of the financial year. These projects, combined with my own improved understanding of our building management system helped us achieve an 9% reduction in electricity consumption and an even better 20% cut on gas across the portfolio.

Making it happen

Like the adage says, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it”. This definitely held true for us, and at some of our sites we've taken to daily utility readings. Checking daily gives you a real feel for your own consumption and enables you to spot any spikes early on.

Like the adage says, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it”. Checking daily gives you a real feel for your own consumption and enables you to spot any spikes early on.

Heat loss was a major concern, so we embarked on insulation projects, installed pool covers and made moves to modernise boiler controls. We also targeted what we thought would be quick wins: motion-sensitive lighting in our public toilets has had a real impact on reducing energy wasteage. Smart meters are a godsend, but by no means essential - keeping a close eye on our normal meters helped us knock a load off our invoices too.

Challenges

We wanted to engage our staff and spark an interest in green energy, so we held road shows and appointed an energy champion for our larger sites. We ran a regular 10:10 feature in our council newsletter where we’d report on energy efficiency projects, well-performing sites, and developments in the world of energy. We’ve also decorated with Carbon Trust energy awareness posters and stickers, which provide a little reminder for people to switch off lights and appliances.

Future Savings

All this hard work's paying off - the savings are already coming through, and the council is going to reinvest every penny saved in to more energy-saving initiatives.

All this hard work's paying off - we're already seeing savings coming through!

We’ve set ourselves an ambitious, but, we think, achieveable target of reducing energy consumption by 30% over the next four years. We have quite a few projects in the pipeline, and with a bit of luck we'll exceed expectations!

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