Hydraulics experts save 17 tonnes of carbon a year through innovative lighting upgrade | Save It Easy
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Hydraulics experts save 17 tonnes of carbon a year through innovative lighting upgrade

The Hydraulic Centre Ltd, a Coventry-based company that repairs and tests hydraulics, successfully secured a government-funded loan to reduce its carbon footprint. The company was able to cut its lighting energy consumption in half by using a retrofit converter, ‘Save It Easy®’ from Energys, to install energy-efficient lighting throughout its engineering workshop and accompanying offices.

Founded almost 30 years ago, the Hydraulic Centre is well established as one of the country’s biggest and most experienced repair centres for hydraulic pumps, hydraulic motors and hydraulic valves. With 8,500 sq ft of workshop space and six offices, it is a busy operation. Since precision work is carried out onsite, a high standard of lighting must be maintained at all times. However, Managing Director, Phil Roxburgh found that the old-style fluorescent lamps that the Hydraulic Centre had in place used up a disproportionate amount of electricity.

“Improving energy efficiency is something we are very concerned about at the Hydraulic Centre,” comments Phil Roxburgh. “We’ve found that implementing better energy practices in our workshop has already led to both financial savings and a smaller carbon footprint. We already have equipment on site that meters and limits the electricity that our machinery uses. It was a natural next step to consider upgrading our lighting – but only provided we could find a cost-effective means of doing so.”

When the Hydraulic Centre was alerted to the possibility of securing an interest-free, government-funded loan, the time seemed right to take action. Under the Carbon Trust loans scheme, businesses can borrow between £3,000 and £100,000 to purchase energy-saving equipment. Loans can be repaid over four years, with repayments covered by savings on fuel bills.

“The interest-free Carbon Trust financing was too good to pass up,” says Mr Roxburgh, “particularly when we looked at how much we could save by replacing our existing lamps with energy-efficient equivalents. Using Save It Easy – a Carbon-Trust-approved product – we discovered we could carry out the upgrade and keep the existing light fittings in place. However, we found the Carbon Trust forms rather long-winded and difficult to complete.”

Responding to similar complaints about the difficulty of applying for Carbon Trust loans, Energys, a specialist in low-carbon retrofit technologies, has begun using its sector expertise to help companies to obtain government financing. Energys is able to manage the Carbon Trust application process for its clients, from start to finish – taking the headache out of securing the loan.

With its Carbon Trust loan in place, the Hydraulic Centre used a subcontractor to install 405 energy-efficient T5 lamps across its site. Using Save It Easy, the new lamps were simply slotted into the old light fittings, removing the usual need to rip out and replace fittings that do not match the physical and technical specifications of the high-tech lamps.

“Everyone at the Hydraulic Centre was keen to cut emissions on site, but with such precision work taking place at the Hydraulic Centre, the company could not afford to compromise,” comments Aidan Salter, Managing Director at Energys. “By retaining the existing fittings during the upgrade, the Centre was able to achieve high-quality, low-energy lighting without disruption to staff members or downtime on site. The Centre has also secured a lower maintenance burden, since the new T5 lamps last more than three times longer and, thus, require replacing far less often.”

As a result of the new lighting, the Hydraulic Centre expects to cuts its lighting energy needs by almost 50%. This will have a huge impact on the Centre’s electricity bill: it is forecasted to reduce its annual electricity bill by £4,138. The Hydraulic Centre will have no trouble paying back its Carbon Trust loan, since the project is expected to achieve payback in just 15 months. The reduction in energy use onsite also translates to a saving of 17 tonnes of carbon each year.