Reducing energy bills and environmental impact for this central Brighton business

Located in the heart of the south Lanes in central Brighton, Werks Central is a highly versatile commercial space used by a number of small businesses and organisations. Incorporated within the premises are two performance areas, an exhibition gallery, a client garden, a cafe and a number of office spaces including the constituency office for Brighton Pavilion MP Caroline Lucas.

Given the variety of different uses and types of room contained within the one bulding, BHESCo were able to identify a number of opportunities where The Werks Group could achieve a significant reduction on their energy bills and environmental impact.

A detailed examinaton of Werks Central’s energy bills for 2015 suggested that they will reduce their total electricity consumption by an impressive 34% by switching to LED lighting and installing rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) panels.

Empowering Werks Central to generate their own renewable electricity from the heart of Brighton

In co-operation with Brighton and Hove electrical specialists AJ Taylor Electrical, BHESCo’s project management team designed a 12kW rooftop solar PV system that will deliver 10% of the property’s annual electrical needs.

Rooftop solar pv - central brighton business - bhesco community energy projects
12kW rooftop solar PV array installed by BHESCo at the Werks Central on Middle Street

In addition to the installation of a roof mounted solar PV array, BHESCo’s engineers also designed a bespoke low-energy lighting system that will enable Werks Central to significantly reduce their energy consumption.

Reducing the electricity demand of the property means that Werks Central are able to meet a greater percentage of their energy demand using their own on-site solar electricity generation.

Taking measures to reduce electrical demand by improving energy efficiency

For this project, BHESCo partnered with Majimoto, a company that supplies LED and energy saving prodcuts across the South East of england.

An entirely new lighting configuration was designed, replacing all the lighting units in the studio with low-energy, highly-efficient LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes).

A total of 261 lights were installed which we expect to reduce the electrical lighting demand of the property by a remarkable 52%

Lighting Type No. of Lamps
LED Panels
172
Cool White Linear Batten - 900mm
5
Cool White Linear Batten - 1200mm
9
Cool White Linear Batten - 1500mm
19
LED Round Panel
37
TOTAL
261

Installing energy generation and efficiency measures at no upfront cost using our 'Pay As You Save' finance

As with most of BHESCo’s commercial energy projects, the solar panels and the LED lighting system were installed for no upfront cost on behalf of Werks Central.

The upfront project costs were provided by BHESCo’s shareholder members who have invested their money in clean energy generation and savings systems to transition Brighton and Hove away from using fossil fuels.

By meeting the project costs in this way Werks Central are able to start making savings immediately. A portion of the savings are then used to repay the cost of the project, plus 5% interest which we pass on to our shareholder members.

The new lighting system and solar PV array will be leased from BHESCo to Werks Central for a period of years until the upfront project costs have been repaid. After this time the lights and the solar power array will belong to Werks Central who will benefit from 100% of the financial savings.

The Seagull Conundrum; overcoming one of Brighton and Hove's common challenges

As a consumer co-operative BHESCo remains accountable to all our of project customers long after the initial project installation has been completed.

We regularly monitor the performance of all energy equipment installed across our sites to ensure that technologies are operating as expected and that anticipated energy savings are being achieved. Where systems are not performing in line with expectations it is BHESCo responsibility to investigate the cause and to implement any remedial action.

In the example of the rooftop solar power array at Werks Central, our analysis showed that the solar PV system was underperforming. Following a survey of the site the cause became abundantly clear: the solar panels were covered with seagull droppings.

BHESCo arranged for the panels to be cleaned by a specialist and investigated a variety of potential solutions to prevent. seagulls from converging on the roof.

It was decided that the most effective solution with consideration for the welfare of the seagulls was to install a Scarecrow ‘acoustic bird dispersal system’. This works by using naturally occuring bird distress calls to deter birds away from the site. The system also has the bonus of operating autonymously without human intervention.

Teh addition of the Scarecrow system was a complete success and resulted in a notable decline in the volume of seagull droppings on the system and an associated improvement in the performance of the solar panels.

Energy generation / energy saving technology installed:

12kW Solar PV

261 LED lights

Financial benefit of this community energy project:

£1,540

Annual Saving

£30,793

Lifetime Saving

Environmental Impact Reduction

We expect the energy generation and efficiency measures installed for this project to reduce annual carbon emissions by 6 tonnes.

Over the operational lifetime of the equipment this equates to 165 tonnes, which is equivalent to:

Community energy project location:

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