Case Studies

Environment-conscious College Saves Energy and Cash

Saving energy and cutting costs - vital issues for the UK's largest provider of higher education for land-based industries.

Environment-conscious Harper Adams Agricultural College in Newport, Shropshire has more than 1,600 full-time students and a campus site including a 200-hectare estate with leisure areas, woodland and a commercial farm.

Its mission is to cut energy consumption and spending. Improved working practices, greater staff awareness and an on-going quest for quality and technical improvement are key aims of the forward-thinking strategy.

According to David Roscoe, Estates and Facilities Manager, extensive use of intelligent lighting controls from Ex-Or Limited have helped to level out spiralling campus-wide demand for electricity - despite ever-increasing use of computers, e-mail and IT systems.

David - who is responsible for buying and securing the best possible value from energy sources - counts efficiency, flexibility and reliability as the main assets of the installed Ex-Or lighting controls.

"For 98 per cent of the buildings surveyed so far, Ex-Or has been able to come up with a relatively cheap and reliable way of controlling our lighting - whatever the size and type of the room or building."

"Our energy-saving philosophy is simple. Cheaper energy bills mean we can invest more in energy conservation measures. So in the long run, we stand to save even more money."

"We have fitted Ex-Or controls because of their quality and versatility. Not only do we install them in all new buildings, we have a rolling programme to fit them in existing ones."

Lighting controls have been fitted in engineering workshops, science laboratories, libraries, lecture theatres, computer rooms, all teaching and lecture rooms, the sports hall, multi-gym, common rooms, stairwells, corridors and toilets.

David is also impressed by the high level of technical advice on offer from the company: "Without fail, Ex-Or correctly interprets what I want to achieve, carefully analyses the needs and patterns of use of each room or area, then comes up with the ideal answer."

"We put a lot of emphasis on cutting out wasteful use of lighting, because it represents a large slice of our electricity bill. Yet we are an educational establishment carrying out a lot of vital research, so the correct level of lighting is very important.

"The very nature of our operations means that buildings and rooms are used intermittently between 8am and 10pm. So there are always times when lights could potentially be left on when no-one is there."

Added David: "We are very aware that people tend to forget to switch them off, so we prefer to take the decision out of their hands and replace human nature with more reliable automatic controls."

"Having said that, when staff and students actually see the benefits, they suggest other areas where they could be fitted, so the controls make people more energy-conscious as well."

David is in no doubt of the value of Ex-Or intelligent lighting controls: "Wherever they have been installed, savings have been made. The payback varies according to the building or area in which they are used, but it can be rapid. For example, results are quickly seen in a large sports hall that is used on and off for most of the day, where lights are not switched off until a final security check at 10pm. In an area like this or a lecture theatre paybacks of around one year are commonly achieved.”