Building organisational resilience through reducing carbon and saving money

The Arkwright Society is based at a World Heritage Site and comprises of several large stone buildings which have high energy use. The DE-Carbonise team was invited to survey the site and provide advice on how to reduce their energy bills and carbon footprint.

Why did they engage with DE-Carbonise?

The main challenge identified was the high energy use for heating and lighting at the site: 447MWh electricity and 637MWh gas per year, equivalent to 241 tonnes of carbon, costing around £88,000 (at old prices). The DE-Carbonise review identified a significant amount of old fluorescent and halogen lighting at the site. An inventory was conducted to plan for replacement with energy efficient LED lights with sensors where appropriate. The heating was a mixture of electric storage and plug-in heaters and a range of gas boilers, some being very old and having limited control.

Other things which were highlighted were poorly insulated parts of the buildings and areas where there were significant draughts or where doors were being left open with the heating on. There were also two large dehumidifiers which were kept on 24 hours, 7 days per week which consume a large amount of energy.

A new boiler fitted at the Arkwright Society building.
LED light fitted at the Arkwright Society building.

What has been the impact of working with DE-Carbonise?

The DE-Carbonise team produced a carbon reduction report which proposed the replacement of the old-style lighting and improvement of the heating systems as well as reducing draughts and improving insulation.

The organisation created a proposal for replacing lighting, buying the light fittings and sensors, and using their own maintenance team to carry out the installation.

For the heating improvements the business was able to obtain replacement efficient boilers provided by a sponsor and the DE-Carbonise grant supported the cost of the installation and improvements to pipework and control systems.

The lighting, heating and sensor control improvements were supported with a DE-Carbonise grant of almost £12,300.

The actions are forecast to save 20 tonnes of carbon per annum and will reduce the organisation’s energy costs to a tune of over £9,200 per annum (2021 prices). This will enable the organisation to become more resilient.

Next Steps

The Arkwright Society is planning to install water source heating to one of the buildings which is going to be renovated. This currently has electric storage heaters which are very inefficient. They are also planning to install a hydro turbine to generate renewable electricity at the site.

About DE-Carbonise

DE-Carbonise is a three year collaboration between the University of Derby, Derby City Council and Derbyshire County Council, which started in November 2019. The collaboration is funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and follows on from the successful D2 Energy Efficiency/Low Carbon project.

Logo's for European Union Regional Development Fun, Derby City Council, Derbyshire County Council and Midlands Engine.

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To find out about current support available for your business in reducing your environmental impact, or your journey to net-zero. Please get in contact with our business gateway team.

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