The Devas Club is a youth club based in Battersea, providing a range of activities from basketball to silk screen printing. The club was founded in 1884, and we've been in our current building (a former rifle range!) since 1970.
As a youth centre that sees a lot of different people come and go, encouraging users of the club to get involved was one of our biggest tasks. This worked in some areas better than others. For example we were successful at getting people to switch off un-needed lighting, but we often found the radiators in the corridors and stairs, which were switched off to conserve heat, had been switched back on by users.
We could definitely do more on this front. There is still room to improve on internal communications and we could also do more engagement outside the centre, raising awareness for what we are doing.
We had been trying to cut our emissions for years, but committing to 10:10 gave us a stronger motive. It allowed our building manager, Sheila, to become more ruthless about turning the heating off earlier in spring and later in autumn, which helped save 20% on our electricity and 4% on our gas, despite last year's unusually cold winter.
We had been trying to cut our emissions for years, but committing to 10:10 gave us a stronger motive.
There were definitely some trade-offs involved. As hot water is not needed very often in the building, we also switched off the hot water circulating pumps. This meant on the few times people did want hot water they would have to wait a little longer for it to arrive.
We decided to track our progress throughout the year by reading our meters every month and logging it on an Excel spreadsheet. These measurements were crucial to our success, but it would also have been easier if we could have gained more frequent and detailed readings of our consumption.
Getting live electrical consumption data or CO2 monitoring would a big job though –because our building is so large, we would not be able to use a simple domestic appliance such as an OWL energy meter.
Our next 10:10 year should be very exciting. We received some funding from Wandsworth Council to refurbish the ground floor of our building, including putting in double glazing and energy efficient lighting, although sadly not LEDs.
We have also sourced two nearly-new boilers from a local school to replace our old gas-guzzling monster, and we will be installing local electric water heaters, allowing us to disconnect the rooftop hot water heater.
In the future we hope to raise another £14,000 for a 3.9 KW solar array on the roof and have been in touch with engineering consults Buro Happold to look into this properly.