Driving down energy use with MeasureMyEnergy
From their main depot at Cross Hands and their four satellite depots at Avonmouth, Blaenau Ffestiniog, Chirk and Merthyr Tydfil, Castell Howell service the length and breadth of Wales, the Welsh borders and the West Country. Providing top quality produce, Castell Howell is well established as one of the country’s leading independent food wholesalers.
Castell Howell takes their commitment to the environment very seriously with a number of environmental initiatives. In 2012 they were one of the first companies in Wales to sign to the WRAP Hospitality and Foodservice commitment to reduce food and packaging waste. Continuing with their commitment to reducing their environmental impact, Castell Howell have set their sites on significantly reducing their energy consumption, from replacing critical plant equipment with more energy efficient alternatives, to exploring process and behavioural driven change programmes.
In December 2015, MeasureMyEnergy installed 8 Power Distribution Monitors at the Cross Hands Distribution Centre. This gave them real-time circuit level detail of energy consumption throughout the entire site. As a result, throughout 2016 there were a number of success stories connected to the project.
One example was of the site’s Waste Compactor. MeasureMyEnergy highlighted that this single electrical supply had an unusually high base load, producing a cost of c.£230 per month. Upon investigation, it was learned that this supply also carried a spur to a now-unused area, where a fan heater was constantly running! This discovery lead Castell Howell to disconnect the fan heater, resulting in savings of c.£180 per month, or £2,000 per year.
Another example came from the study of habits – such as the vans that return to the site empty around midday were immediately plugged in for charging of the refrigeration equipment. They were not scheduled to be re-stocked until around 18:00 that evening. The vans only require an hour or so to be adequately refrigerated, so this was recognised as 4 or 5 hours per van per day of unnecessary usage. Addressing this has delivered a cost saving of c.500 per month, or £6,000 per year.
As Castell Howell were undertaking other energy efficiency programmes across the year, the availability of real-time circuit level detail was invaluable in validating a number of key projects.
One example of this was used in validating the re-lamping of certain areas of the warehouse & distribution facility. MeasureMyEnergy has allowed Castell Howell to manage their elected contractors with LED installations, ensuring in real-time that the newly fitted lighting systems were commissioned fully and functioning as instructed. This has reduced the time that would otherwise have been spent on any labour intensive snagging processes, allowing this project to achieve a faster return on investment.
Similarly, when a number of refrigeration packs were replaced with new, energy efficient units, the MeasureMyEnergy system reported that these new units were not initially performing as expected. This allowed Castell Howell to arrange for the installing contractor to return and re-commission the new equipment, ensuring that it was performing at optimum efficiency. Without this knowledge, it would have been incredibly difficult to determine this particular issue and Castell Howell could easily have not seen the intended or forecast return on this specific project that had been anticipated.
Matt Lewis, Director of Operations for Castell Howell Foods Ltd, says “At Castell Howell, we are committed to improving our environmental impact. Measure My Energy has given us the ability to monitor and improve our energy use and set targets for our environmental policy. It is particularly useful when we consider installing new equipment as it gives the ability to easily check any ROI a contractor proposes.”
Castell Howell now plan to further improve their understanding of energy consumption across the rest of their business portfolio, adding the MeasureMyEnergy solution in the Distribution Centre’s on-going expansion, the new Butchery, the Cooked Meats facility, the Cash and Carry operation and their Farm Fresh Sandwiches.
If the results in these additional business units are as impressive as those we have seen so far at the Distribution Centre, then that will be a great win for Castell Howell and their goals to even further reduce their business impact on the environment.
Reduced their electricity bill by £8000 a year.
Checked expected and promised energy savings against real world data.