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Driving energy efficiency across our offices

Driving energy efficiency across our offices

Find out how Virgin Media’s energy performance contract is helping improve our office energy efficiency by up to 20%.

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In September 2011 we began a journey with Matrix, a leading energy management company, to reduce the amount of electricity we use across our business. We have taken a phased approach to our energy efficiency programme with Phase 1 running for 2 years from 2011-2013. As this part of the project draws to a close and ahead of the launch of Phase 2 in early 2014, we thought we'd share some of the work we've been doing in this space and the energy savings we've seen from the project so far.

To start the project we needed to first gain visibility of the energy usage data across our network to understand the way our sites operated and the consumption trends for each building. So we first uploaded all the historic half hourly (HH) electricity data to the Matrix Smart View energy management system. This data was then analysed and ten office buildings with high occupancy and energy use levels were chosen for phase one of the project.

The buildings were then remotely connected to the Matrix Energy Management Centre (EMC) in Glasgow - a state-of-the-art facility that operates a remote monitoring and optimisation system across our ten sites. From the EMC, our sites are continuosuly monitored and adjusted by trained technicians 24x7, allowing for instantaneous remote diagnosis and rectification of faults along with site-specific optimisation of our heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems.

Through Phase 1 of our energy efficiency programme, we’ve managed to save 8.6 gigawatt hours of electricity to date – that’s enough to power 2,100 homes across the UK for a whole year. Our best performing site, Swansea Matrix Court, has seen energy savings of a massive 21.5%  - a result so encouraging that Virgin Media is considering expanding the program across additional sites in 2014.

We will also be rolling out phase two of our energy management programme over the coming year with the focus on improving lighting controls across a number of buildings. To kick off this project we’ve started replacing older, less efficient lights with more modern energy-saving lamps and fittings. We’re also installing motion detectors which will automatically turn the lighting off when no one’s in the office and automatic dimming controls are being used in some sites where there is a lot of natural daylight.

These lighting upgrades will almost double the lamp life of our lights (up to 20,000 hours) and improve the quality of light within the working environment. On our flagship site in Swansea we’re expecting to see energy savings of 40% for the lighting project, so keep your eyes peeled and we’ll report back on our progress next year.

To find out more about the state-of-the-art technology we’re using to drive energy efficiency at Virgin Media check out this short film.