Case Study: Irvine Library, North Ayrshire Council

Case Study: Irvine Library, North Ayrshire Council

With an annual electricity spend of approximately £12,500, Irvine Library was considered a primary problem site by North Ayrshire Council. We identified potential savings of up to £6,000.

The Brief

North Ayrshire Council, operates and has responsibility for a mixed bag of buildings, many reclaimed buildings that have been converted for various local authority uses, some relatively new builds and some historical buildings. Refurbished buildings were a particular concern due to energy consumption not being consistent with national statistic for similarly occupied sites with similar use.

Irvine Library was identified as a primary problem site with an average annual spend of £12,500 per annum on electricity, the energy manager was concerned about the operational aspect of the building. Irvine Library was opened in its present location four years ago, at which time the building was completely refurbished. The refurbishment works included improvements to the building fabric (shell lined internally with Kingspan insulated panels and new roof), new building services and replacement lighting scheme.

Irvine library used 123,950 kWh of electricity in the year ended January 2010, and emitted 67.4 tonnes of CO2, The energy bill for the period was £12,408, making the average cost paid for electricity 10.01p/kWh. The Council are concerned about the energy costs at the library and are concerned that perhaps the building services are not operating efficiently.

Our Approach

The initial report on the energy use highlighted some immediate savings:

  • Water heater running 24/7
  • Chiller Units running in conjunction with one another
  • Possible power surge on 1 Distribution Board

In order to discover other savings Utilitywise carried out an Energy Audit of Irvine Library. Our analysis of energy performance suggests control issues with the main heating, cooling, and ventilation systems, which should be investigated. Estimated savings of £3,637 to £6,000 were identified (lighting opportunities are mutually exclusive). Savings from adjustments to time schedules and the fitting of a 7-day timer control to the Water Heater were £1,741 for an investment of only £100.

The major opportunities to reduce costs and carbon emissions arising as a result of the audit were:

  • Lighting: replace HID spotlights with LED / low energy equivalents
  • Lighting: install ‘sun pipes’ and dimming controls
  • Ventilation: replace mechanical ventilation with passive system, e.g. Windcatcher™
  • Heating & Cooling: fuel switching, consider wood pellet and wet radiator system

In addition other opportunities identified in the audit include:

  • Water heater on constantly resulting in increased standing losses – consider installing 7 day timer control;
  • All lighting is turned on by cleaners in the morning approximately 1.5 hours before the library opens – consider re-arranging cleaner’s rota to reduce this energy use;
  • Lights left ON in WCs and other areas closed to the public – consider installing occupancy sensors to control lighting in these areas;
  • Timer for outside lights set to the incorrect time set and lights ON too long – correct timer and consider installing light sensor to minimise operational hours;
  • Time controls for heating/cooling & ventilation system do not match occupancy hours – adjust to more closely match library opening times;
  • Little evidence of the promotion of energy awareness (e.g. posters, stickers).

Our Solution

From the initial findings we highlighted areas of savings greater than the initial investment within three months of installation, at a cost of only £100 to the client. In addition to this initial savings we also highlighted over £4,000 of further savings.

“NAC agree that without the Edd:e and the after sales support by Utilitywise’s desk top consultant and Energy Audit, many of these issues would not have been identified for some considerable time. The council is always looking for ways to identify savings and are grateful that the Edd:e solution has proved a success at Irvine Library.”

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