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Cardiff Metropolitan University - 5-year plan to reduce energy and water consumption

The University's five-year strategic plan to reduce energy and water consumption, developed in conjunction with the Carbon Trust, is on track to achieve savings of £1m.

Cardiff Metropolitan University

With an annual utility budget rising to £2.1m in 2008, effective energy management had become a key priority for the University. That year, the University implemented a 5-year plan to reduce energy and water consumption from improved housekeeping - not only in response to rising energy costs but also to meet the Welsh Government target for public sector bodies to reduce CO2 emissions by 3% per annum.

The 5 year strategy and implementation plan was developed in conjunction with Carbon Trust Wales to maximise the return on investment of £330k of ring-fenced funding from the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW) in automatic monitoring and targeting (aM&T) technology.

Carbon Trust Wales energy efficiency surveys confirmed that the University's approach had been successful as many buildings were identified as operating at or better than 'best practice' benchmarks.

Savings at a glance

  • Savings of £1m in five years
  • Simple payback in less than 4 years
  • 15-20% saving across all utilities by year 4
  • At the end of Year 3 the following reductions in usage have been achieved:
    • 12% Electricity
    • 5% Gas
    • 18% Water
The automatic monitoring and targeting system that we’ve installed has enabled a more holistic approach which has delivered worthwhile reductions in utility consumption across all of our buildings. Having studied our results, I cannot think of a more cost effective way of reducing our utility bills and CO2 emissions.

Paul Manley, Energy Manager, Cardiff Metropolitan University

The University's 5-year plan also included carefully selected energy efficiency technical projects. Comparing the success of these projects against the return on investment on the fully utilised aM&T system has been a useful evaluation exercise.

Our research indicates that similar levels of investment have produced strikingly different results. The return on investment from the aM&T project is many times greater than that from carefully selected energy efficiency technical projects.

The aM&T system has allowed Paul and the team at Cardiff Metropolitan University to not only identify energy wastage but also to assess the effectiveness of interventions and introduce accountability. This project has shown what a valuable tool aM&T is, when coupled with knowledge, experience and individual persistence within an organisation.

Account Manager, Carbon Trust Wales

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