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Retail Technology, Retail technology News

Midsummer Place cuts energy consumption by 15%

Wednesday October 13 2010

Significant cuts achieved through detailed building operational performance improvement analysis and recommendations

Significant cuts achieved through detailed building operational performance improvement analysis and recommendations


Midsummer Place Shopping Centre has achieved a reduction in its energy consumption of 15% with the help of UK energy procurement and carbon strategy consultancy, Power Efficiency.


The saving was achieved as a result of a national carbon reduction initiative by the retail centre’s owner Legal and General Property through a 12-month programme started in January 2009, using Power Efficiency’s Building Operational Performance Improvement service. This included an energy survey, monitoring and reporting of weekly and monthly energy profiles and a monthly engineering review of operations, leading to significant operational performance improvements.


Midsummer Place is a two-floor shopping centre in Milton Keynes with a total floor area of 40,000-square-metres and more than 50 stores.


Green efforts bear financial fruit


Working with Power Efficiency, Midsummer Place achieved an annual cost saving of £24,000 with a reduction of 390,000 kWh or 210 tonnes CO2. It also realised substantial reductions in lighting by adapting existing control systems to meet specific requirements, including when parking areas were being used and necessary lighting levels for public access to throughways.


Power Efficiency’s service included a site visit and monthly detailed reporting based on energy consumption by date and time of day, with consultancy that looked at where energy is being consumed in the building to find sources of unnecessary consumption. This is the most challenging aspect of reducing consumption, according to the consultancy as it requires a detailed understanding of the energy using estate, when hundreds, even thousands of devices are in use and the amount of energy they consume. A simple example of this would be escalators running beyond the closing time of a building.


Andy Banks, finance director of Legal and General Property, said: “To drive our initiative in reducing environmental impacts for our business, Power Efficiency’s expertise, over the last 12 months have helped us to make significant savings on our energy consumption, which has reduced our environmental impact. None of the changes that have been made are the result of replacing equipment, such as heating, rather it has been achieved through a better understanding of where we consume energy and changing habits where needed.”


Small steps, tangible results


In March 2009, on the advice of Power Efficiency, a reduction of usage of lighting after business hours was implemented with all mall and car park lights turned off one hour after Midsummer Place closes, except while cleaning is taking place on the mall. Boulevard lighting is now turned to 25% from one hour after Midsummer Place closes – as this is sufficient for both cleaning and public access. And the start time of the escalators is now delayed by one hour in the morning.


In addition, regular internal communications were sent to staff and tenants about the need to save energy. And the centre’s building management system was setup to adopt these changes automatically.


Bobby Collinson, managing director of Power Efficiency, added: “Looking for the best energy prices is only one part of the story to reducing energy costs. Through detailed analysis of where energy is being consumed significant savings can be made. For organisations such as shopping centres that are likely to be participants in the Government’s CRC [Carbon Reduction Commitment] Energy Efficiency Scheme, this will be a key element in achieving and maintaining a good position in the public league tables in the years ahead.“