A shopping centre in Hull has managed to cut its energy consumption by 35% through a series of efficiency measures across the site.
St Stephen’s shopping centre has seen significant levels of improvement measures installed since the site was opened in 2007. The latest measure to be installed was a 280kW solar system completed in December which is expected to provide around a third of the centre’s energy needs.
As well as generating its own power, the centre has recently begun a four-year project to fit LED lighting throughout the premises. A £15,000 annual budget has been put aside for lighting as part of the site’s planned and preventative maintenance (PPM) plan, which also includes funds for boiler installations and heating measures.
As well as introducing energy efficiency measures throughout the premises, deputy centre manager Tony van der Vliet has put in place new methods to reduce costs further.
Speaking to Clean Energy News, he explained: “When the building was built and finally commissioned, they could have put some better controls in place than they did. There were some areas that just had motion sensors for lighting so when a bus went past the lighting would just go on, day or night. They weren’t really thinking outside the box so we installed further dual sensors in certain areas.
“We then looked at all the timings from the BMS (building management system) that we’ve got in place and made sure those are all correct. We installed loads more meters so we could see where the power was being used and the water.
“I’m not talking rocket science here, I’m talking about stuff any good energy manager should do in the first place when they take over a building.”
Van der Vliet added that when the site first opened in 2007, it used 2.4 million kWh of electricity a year; it now uses around 870,000kWh annually.
Leak detection techniques and other water mass balance systems were also implemented, resulting in a 75% reduction of water usage since 2009. The shopping centre has also reduced its waste to landfill to zero, with a food waste recycling facility on site as well as a glass waste capability that earns the site a rebate.
With the lighting project set for another three years and even more waste reduction solutions in the pipeline, Van der Vliet says the site will be looking for more renewable generation sources.
“We’ve got the solar in now, is it worth looking at wind generation? It is very windy in Hull. We’re just always looking at the next sort of thing we can do,” he said.