Newark and Sherwood Homes community centre reap benefits of energy reduction

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Thirty five local community centres, including several in the Mansfield area*, under the management of Newark and Sherwood Homes are reaping the benefits of an innovative method of reducing their energy usage which is saving around 25 per cent off their energy bills.

Over the year this amounts to a saving of approximately £7.5k, which Newark and Sherwood Homes will reinvest for the benefit of local residents, as part of its commitment to providing added value services.

Just 12 months ago, Newark and Sherwood Homes was looking at how innovative technology could help reduce its electricity consumption across its community centres and decided to implement voltage optimisation as part of improving energy efficiency and reducing costs.

Andrew Dewberry, asset management and investment manager at Newark and Sherwood Homes, said: “The average savings for voltage optimisation is around 10%, but we were delighted when we found we were making around 25 per cent savings, which far exceeded our expectations.”

He added: “This means that the investment will have paid back in less than two years and, as energy prices rise, we will continue to reap the benefits of further cost savings. This is all part of improving the energy efficiency of our centres and delivering more cost efficient services for local people.”

Voltage optimisation is now being successfully used by many organisations to cut electricity bills and the normal expected energy saving is between 8-10 per cent. It works by optimising the voltage of mains electricity entering a building. Electricity companies are entitled by law to supply power between 207 volts and 253 volts; however appliances work most efficiently at the lower end – between 210 and 220 volts - and anything above this is a waste of electricity. As the name suggests, optimisation ensures that the voltage is within these parameters.

Newark and Sherwood Homes has therefore been able to reduce electrical usage in the venues and in doing so, lower both the energy bills and carbon footprint of its community centres. This is part of the organisation’s commitment to improving the energy efficiency of the properties it manages on behalf of Newark and Sherwood District Council.

Newark and Sherwood Homes is the Arms Length Management Organisation that was set up by Newark and Sherwood District Council in 2004 to manage, maintain and improve council housing. The organisation manages approximately 5,500 homes on behalf of the Council and its aim is to deliver excellent housing services.

Newark and Sherwood Homes is committed to making positive improvements to the homes and facilities it manages, as well as adding value to tenants’ lives through a programme of enhancing opportunities and training.