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SHM COMMUNICATIONS - Bruntwood Cuts Its Gas & Electricity Bills By 10%

Bruntwood owns and manages 80 office buildings across Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds and Birmingham. Its 800 customers range from a one person startup renting for a month to multinationals with 25 year leases.

New aM&T programme
In 2006, Bruntwood formulated its energy and environmental policy, in which it set out a series of ambitious targets.  Amongst these was an objective of reducing its energy consumption across its 80 buildings by 10% each year until 2010. To help reach these targets, Bruntwood decided to introduce an automatic monitoring and targeting (aM&T) programme which would provide detailed analysis of the gas and electricity consumption patterns across all buildings in the portfolio.

After a six-month search, Bruntwood appointed SHM Communications to design and install the sub metering and data logging system that would serve as part of the platform for the aM&T programme.

Cyril Ogunmakin, Head of Telecoms and Utilities at Bruntwood, explained why SHM was chosen: “Firstly, they demonstrated they had the right ethos and secondly, we found them to be very enthusiastic in their approach. Another important factor was they had the right ‘fit’ with Bruntwood, sharing the same key values as us. Our choice was indeed the right one because they have succeeded in delivering exactly what we were looking for.”

Half hourly data
The system SHM designed has UL24 and UL8 data loggers at its heart and is designed to work with Stark Reality data analysis software. Part of SHM’s task was to replace the analogue electricity meters with new MID-approved meters with pulse output to data loggers, so that half hourly data could be automatically recorded and collected from them. Before, Bruntwood’s meters were read manually once a month.

Tenant Billing
SHM was able to recommend and supply meters that suited Bruntwood’s need to supply fully-approved and Measuring Instruments Directive (MID)-certified meters for the all important tenant billing function.

The new system provides a means of dataflow from the sub-meters in Bruntwood’s buildings to its head office in Manchester, where the utility data is analysed for decision making and tenant billing. So far, 18 buildings are linked into the new network and SHM is carrying out an ongoing programme to install these in all new development buildings, with additional roll-out to remaining buildings in the portfolio over the next five years.

The central Stark Reality software system running in the Manchester City Tower head office uses the internet to retrieve the billing data from the SHM logging outstations in all outlying Bruntwood buildings. As new buildings are added to the aM&T system the software just extends its reach. Communications via the internet is comprehensive, fast, secure and relatively free.

Energy waste identified
“With this new system in place, we can monitor the exact energy consumption and performance of each building,” explained Bruntwood’s Energy Manager, Graham Beresford. “It enables us to identify any area of energy waste so we can easily start to introduce energy-saving measures in order to reduce both our carbon footprint and our utility bills.”

“We can now easily see wherever an HVAC system is kicking in too early or where people are leaving lights on,” continued Graham. “We can also make this information available to our customers, so they are made more aware of where they are using energy unnecessarily -and can take their own steps to curb energy wastage.”

The other advantage with the SHM system is that it makes tenant billing much more accurate, as utility bills are now based on facts rather than estimates. “Since our old meters only gave us one monthly read, we couldn’t tell which time of day or which day of the week the electricity was being used,” said Cyril Ogunmakin. “That meant we didn’t know which rate to precisely charge our customers. All we could do was average it out and estimate. Now the bills are based on accurate usage information.”

Electronic billing
The results to date have been impressive. With the SHM system in place, Bruntwood now saves circa 10% on electricity, a potential £400,000 per year. It also saves a further 4% on bill validation alone. And the icing on the cake is that, armed with detailed information about its utility usage patterns, Bruntwood is now able to negotiate more flexible contracts from its suppliers.

“We’re delighted with what SHM has been able to achieve for us,” commented Cyril Ogunmakin. “On top of that, they’re quick to respond, flexible in their attitude, and always provide a quality service. I’d say they feel more like an inclusive part of Bruntwood rather than a contractor.”

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Energy management Energy monitoring systems Industrial data loggers

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