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Okehampton College dashboard

Devon college cuts energy use by 65%

Okehampton College in Devon has significantly reduced its energy usage with the aid of real-time monitoring

Posted by Dave Higgitt | March 18, 2015 | Sustainability

A new energy management system at Okehampton College has helped the school save £40,000 a year on energy costs. The system incorporates Enistic monitoring and software solutions, with real-time monitoring of energy use enabling the school’s energy manager Keith Webber to analyse data and initiate a programme of energy-efficiency and renewable energy measures.

The school embarked on its mission to cut its annual energy utilities bill from £100,000 to zero in 2008. The programme included energy-saving initiatives such as improved insulation and boilers, double glazing and low-energy lights, as well as a behaviour campaign alongside investment in solar PV, biomass heating and a wind turbine.

To date, the school has cut gas consumption by 70 percent and electricity by 60 percent, even though this was during a period when the school itself has expanded.

Using Enistic meters and software, the college has created an energy dashboard showing energy generation, consumption and the cost per hour. “If you want to get energy use under control, you have to be able to measure it in the first place,' says Keith Webber. “Measurement is vital. Monitoring is always the starting point. You have to look at where the energy is going to first. Then you can identify how to make savings.”

Using two Enistic SUB3 meters to measure the mains inputs into the school and a pulse meter to measure the solar PV generation, Okehampton College tracks both consumption and generation in real-time. The data collected from the meters flows into Enistic energy manager software where the facilities team and the students can view real-time dashboards of energy usage, along with costs and CO2 emissions. When renewable energy supply outstrips demand, Enistic meters measure the electricity sent back to the grid.

The pupils (aged 11-18) are also involved throughout the curriculum as well as during after-school activities. They use the Enistic equipment to measure and monitor energy use and track down waste, when and where it is happening, so they can take action to reduce it.

Keith Webber adds: “Many large schools are spending between £100,000 and £200,000 a year on energy. At one point our energy bills at Okehampton were approaching £100,000 a year. But through better management and a package of energy-efficiency measures we have achieved savings in the region of £40,000 a year.

“A very important feature is being able to display every use in real time. This is where systems such as the one offered by Enistic can prove very helpful. It allows inappropriate and excessive use to be identified and dealt with.'

Many schools, colleges and universities will need to implement energy monitoring to comply with new ESOS (energy savings opportunity scheme) regulations which take effect on 5 December 2015.

Darryl Mattocks, managing director of Enistic, says: “For many schools, especially those in the independent sector, as well as colleges and universities, efficient monitoring and reporting has become a necessity to comply with ESOS regulations.

“Our ‘easy ESOS’ service is designed to make it easy for organisations to comply within the deadline. Starting with a free, no obligation ESOS scoping meeting, we can conduct a site visit, energy audit and help with the evidence pack for a straightforward route to compliance.”

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