Gloucester Rugby Club appointed Spring Environmental to co-ordinate the club’s sustainability plans and manage its environmental and social impacts. For the first phase of the project, the Spring Environmental team were asked to carry out an energy assessment as part of the mandatory ‘Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme’ (ESOS); a legislation that large businesses are required to carry out every four years where energy usage is audited to identify any saving opportunities.
Energy saving audit
An energy audit was carried out by Spring Environmental that included an analysis of energy used throughout the whole of Kingsholm Stadium. Initial findings concluded that the site consumed a significant amount of energy relative to its size, but the major consumers and causes were not well understood or identified.
The Spring Environmental team needed to explore this further and with their vast knowledge and expertise in energy auditing and modelling, alongside high-tech metering equipment, were able to carry out an accurate audit. This research phase included various onsite tests and trials conducted on a range of days and times, from match days when thousands of people were using the building, to evenings when there was no one around, to ensure a thorough analyses of the stadium’s energy usage.
At first glance it was easy to assume that most of the energy spend would be on match days where the pitch is floodlit, and thousands of fans are enjoying warm hospitality. However, following Spring’s energy assessment, it was identified that most of the energy spend occurred when the building was being used daily by office staff, for corporate events and for training.
Energy Saving Changes
Spring Environmental identified that one of the main culprits of the high levels of energy consumption in the building was the Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) system that was left running continuously, even if there weren’t many people in the building. Spring Environmental advised that energy would be saved, and bills slashed by installing a specialist automated HVAC system that switches on when the rooms are in use and switches off when people leave.
Saving the planet, saving the pounds
Spring Environmental specified the high-tech HVAC unit to save Gloucester Rugby club energy with a forecasted 30% reduction on bills. The team then completed a tender for Government grant funding towards the cost of installing the energy saving technology and successfully secured 30% of the cost.
The expected cost reduction from this phase of activity is £17,000 per year and a payback term of five months, including consultancy costs.
The carbon footprint is expected to reduce by 29 tonnes per year (equivalent to heating 12.4 homes per year).