Government departments were able to achieve significant energy savings in their HQ buildings over the festive period with MoD and DCMS managing to achieve savings of over 40%. Overall, the HQ buildings managed to reduce their combined energy consumption by 30%.
Before Christmas, government departments were asked to use the minimum amount of energy possible from Christmas Day to New Year’s Eve. Specifically, departments were asked to make sure they were:
- Minimising unnecessary lighting and heating (especially when buildings are closed)
- Heating and central operating plant adjusted so they don’t fire automatically on the morning on 27th December
- Staff encouraged to switch off monitors and unplug equipment before their departure on Christmas leave
- When buildings re-open but have limited occupancy over the holiday period, making an effort to minimise building use eg by encouraging staff to sit together so that some floors of the building need not be reopened.
This blog compares the 7 day period from Christmas day to New Year’s Eve with the 7 day period 11/12/10 – 17/12/10 (we have not used the week 18/12/10 – 24/12/10 as a comparator because staff would be beginning to take leave in line with school holidays) to examine how well departments have risen to the challenge.
The following chart shows a comparison of the energy consumption for the period 25/12/10 – 31/12/10 compared to period 11/12/10 – 17/12/10:
DfE did not report an energy saving and have informed us that this was due to contractor error which led to the time clocks on some programmable building management systems not being correctly set. DfE are reviewing protocols and training for the setting of their building management systems, and instigating remote monitoring capability to ensure this does not happen again.