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Energy consumption across the States of Guernsey

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Friday 25 January 2013

The States of Guernsey has reduced its energy consumption by 20% since 2010.

The potential to make savings through being more efficient with energy was one of the original programmes recommended by the Financial Transformation Programme (FTP). The project kicked off in 2009 with the Energy and Utility Efficiency Review to help the States departments reduce energy usage, and has resulted in a 20% reduction in electricity and heating oil since the programme began in 2010.

The Energy Conservation Officer, Craig Shorto, started the project by collecting usage details for all energy sources across the States, including electricity, gas, oil and water. This information was then cross checked from utility invoices to validate the data and establish reliable baseline data from which the benefits of future initiatives could be measured.

The project approached energy conservation on three fronts:-

  1. Monitoring - Reading the meter accurately rather than relying on supplier estimates improves awareness of usage, and enables users to check the reasons for unusual or unexpected consumption readings.
  2. Cultural Change -Raising awareness for all users of energy. Initially States Departments were asked to identify Energy Champions who would promote energy conservation within each Department, collate the energy usage readings from the energy wardens identified for particular properties and generally circulate energy best practice information prepared by the Energy Conservation Officer.
  3. Spend to Save -To encourage Departments to invest in energy savings, funds were included in the FTP project to pay for capital costs on energy projects which could be demonstrated to pay back within 5 years from the guaranteed savings in energy usage.

Craig Shorto said: "The emphasis of the project has been on low cost / no cost solutions which all Departments were able to participate in. Simple actions such as switching off computers over night, switching off lights in offices, reducing the thermostat settings on boiler plant have all contributed to a reduction in the States energy usage over the last two years".

Some Departments had already implemented energy conservation measures. Culture & Leisure, for example, had introduced more energy efficient equipment as part of their cyclical replacement programme. States Property Services had introduced low energy lighting and improved controls when refurbishing Sir Charles Frossard House as part of a rolling property maintenance programme. Light and movement sensors have been installed to ensure lighting is only used when the light levels and occupancy demands it.

Craig Shorto said: "Staff are encouraged to use the standby status for computers when out of the office for meetings and switch off completely overnight to reduce electricity consumption. These initiatives have had a dramatic effect, some Departments achieving 20% reduction, with all Departments reducing their energy usage. This is a good example of mass participation with everyone doing a little to achieve significant reductions."

The project has purposefully excluded the impact of energy inflation upon which Guernsey can have little influence. Even if energy prices have increased over the time of the project, the reduction in consumption will have limited the impact of the increase in terms of the costs of energy.

Deputy Scott Ogier said: "It's really great to see a 20% energy reduction since 2010, that's a good environmental and financial saving and there will be more as the project continues."

Deputy Yvonne Burford said "States employees have done a fantastic job in cutting energy use by a fifth. Lowering consumption offsets rising prices and cuts down on pollution and carbon emissions."

This used to be true years ago for fluorescent tube lights which took some time to start up, but now the rule is that the longer the light is on, the more energy it uses. The energy used to switch a light on and off is less than that of leaving it on, so switching lights off when you leave the room saves energy, whatever type of bulb you have. A boiler that spends an hour heating up a room in the morning is working no harder than a boiler that spends 14 hours switched on overnight. The only difference is that one is switched on for an hour and the other for 14!

Myth Busters

1. Switching lights on and off uses more energy than leaving them on if I'm only going to be out of the room for a short while.

FALSE: This used to be true years ago for fluorescent tube lights which took some time to start up, but now the rule is that the longer the light is on, the more energy it uses. The energy used to switch a light on and off is less than that of leaving it on, so switching lights off when you leave the room saves energy, whatever type of bulb you have.

2. Leaving the heating on overnight uses less energy than re-heating a cold building.

FALSE: A boiler that spends an hour heating up a room in the morning is working no harder than a boiler that spends 14 hours switched on overnight. The only difference is that one is switched on for an hour and the other for 14!

Downloads

States of Guernsey Reduction in Energy Consumption Graph

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