Digiland is housed in a converted warehouse unit. The offices got very hot in summer and cold in winter. The ageing air conditioning units were inefficient and used the R22 refrigerant, which has now been banned.
Although they had a gas fired boiler, there was a heavy reliance on electric heaters to keep the building warm, which meant that energy bills were high.
“Our accountant told us about the Business Energy Efficiency Programme, so I contacted Worcestershire County Council and completed an assessment registration form,” explains David Baxter, the Business Development Manager of Digiland. The Business Energy Efficiency Programme (BEEP) team then worked with Digiland, a process which included a visit from an energy assessor from the Chamber of Commerce who produced a free energy efficiency report detailing recommended improvements and savings.
“We decided to undertake all of the recommendations in the report so we got quotes and completed the BEEP grant application form,” says David.
Digiland’s grant application was successful, and contractors were brought in to begin work on the improvements. Using the grant money, Digiland was able to replace its ageing air conditioning units with ones renowned for their reliability and with a long warranty. The money also funded insulation in the roof voids above the grid matrix ceilings.
“50 percent of the windows already had solar film, so we had the remaining half of the windows fitted with solar film too, which stops the heat in the summer and also retains the heat in winter,” explains David.
“We had one boiler that supplied heat to half the office space and a large number of fan heaters to heat the rest of the office area. The report recommended removing these and fitting an additional boiler that supplied the remaining offices with gas fired heating through radiators, which is what we have done,” says David.
Since Digiland specialises in LED lighting, it had already converted the building to make use of the lights it sells. Based on advice from the BEEP report, the business fitted motion sensors to each of the bay lights as the warehouse wasn’t regularly occupied.
“Following the report we launched a staff education programme to make the staff think about not wasting energy unnecessarily and we are also closely monitoring our energy consumption. We also fitted auto close mechanisms to some of the doors and added rubber strip draught excluders,” says David. The work was completed by the end of the summer and Digiland received the grant money shortly after the final sign-off.
As a result of working with BEEP – which is run by Worcestershire County Council – Digiland now has annual predicted energy savings of £10,000 and has reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 45 tonnes a year. The working environment has greatly improved for the staff, creating a happier workforce and increased productivity.
Digiland received a Business Energy Efficiency Programme (BEEP) grant, of £20,000 towards a building upgrade project, which included upgrading heating and air conditioning, using solar film on windows, fitting lighting sensors on existing LED lighting, and insulation.
BEEP is a partnership between Worcestershire Councils, Herefordshire Council, Telford & Wrekin Council, Shropshire Chamber of Commerce and Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce. The Business Energy Efficiency Programme offers free advice and up to 40% grant funding to businesses in Worcestershire and The Marches. It is funded by the European Regional Development Fund.