Staff Engagement in ' Energy - ‘Turning off the Northern Lights‘ - South Wales Police

15 Aug 2013 - 12:00am

South Wales Police are actively progressing an Invest to Save programme across its estate as part of its Carbon reduction and energy efficiency commitment. The latest initiative was to upgrade the Lighting in Pontypridd Police Station. The overall savings from the initiative have been estimated at £12k in reduced energy costs. The savings will be higher in subsequent years as the cost of electricity continues to rise.

Pontypridd Police Station is the Divisional Headquarters for South Wales Polices' Northern Division. Built in 1985, the building has a Gross Internal Floor Area of 3438 m2 across 4 storeys. It provides the Administration functions, Operational Policing function and also houses a Custody Cell Suite. The vast majority ofthe building is in use 24 hours a day.

Before implementing the initiative, the Estates and Facilities department undertook a staff engagement exercise which entailed issuing of a message from the Chief Financial Officer and the Divisional Commander. The message outlined the importance of achieving savings through the programme; both financial benefits and a reduction in carbon emissions. The message also sought to gain support and buy-in from staff by encouraging them to provide feedback on areas they believed could be improved. The overriding feedback was that staff believed that offices were unnecessarily over-lit and lacked controls to enable sections of unoccupied offices to be switched off.

The next stage for the Estates and Facilities department was to meet with the Electrical Services contractor, Highland Services. The Police provided them with the brief and specification for the lighting design, with particular attention to the opportunity to reduce the lighting levels following the staff feedback. Highland Services then developed a specification and lighting design plan that would ensure correct Lux levels throughout the offices were maintained, but enabled the reduction of light fittings to address the over-lighting issue.

The savings generated from this initiative were achieved via four approaches:

  1. Reduction in number of overall light fittings, based on the staff feedback. This enabled the removal of 85 light fittings throughout the building which was a 21% reduction in the overall number of fittings;
  2. Installation ofa three-tube fitting in place ofthe previous four-tube fitting;
  3. The three-tube fittings were T5 energy efficient type, as opposed to the previous mix of T8 and T12 tubes; 
  4. Installation of improved lighting controls, including ability to control 'banks' of lights within larger offices and automated controls in communal areas and corridors etc.

The overall savings from the initiative have been estimated at £12k in reduced energy costs, and a reduction in carbon emissions of 65 to 2 per annum. The reduction in carbon missions has also reduced the CRC Energy Efficiency Tax by £900 per annum. The cost of the project was £75k resulting in a payback period of approximately six years.

Whilst the technical aspect ofthis initiative was led by the Estates and Facilities department and Highland Services, the success ofthe project through the inclusion of staff in the process is clearly evident as a hidden opportunity that may have been missed had they not engaged with the building users.

Name: Dan Ferris
Title/role: Estates Manager, Facilities
Organisation: South Wales Police
Telephone: 01656 305 943 / 07920 504 461

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