Survey and Test

Energy management at Christmas

By Stan Rayfield.

Back in 1990 I installed some town centre illuminations and at the same time reduced consumption by 11,070 kWhs in the first season.

What was the driver?

It wasn’t CO2 that was the driver back then, it was money. The electricity bill was paid for from the donations raised through collecting tins. The money was precious.

How was it done?

  1. Control: Repairing and carefully setting time clocks so that the lights were switched on only when needed. For instance, some lamps previously stayed lit during daylight and others long after midnight when the high street had emptied.
  2. Reduction: Reducing the wattage of the display where ever possible
  3. Efficiency: Getting more from less. Thinking of new ways to add some sparkle without adding wattage

What would we do now?

Here’s the thing, 31 years on, and for a first step we’d still be aiming for the same thing.  Of course, a much larger reduction would be possible now with new technology such as LED, but we’d still be aiming for closer control, reduction in lamp wattage, and we always want to get more from less.

What are the principles?

The first stage in managing energy and emissions is always reduction. On the journey to net Zero, The Oxford Principles for Net Zero Aligned Carbon Offsetting set out the principles involved. Reduction is the first stage whether it is Christmas illuminations or all year around building energy consumption.