New eco lighting system cuts energy and bills at Cambridge Regional College

14th January 2013

A new “green” lighting system at Cambridge Regional College, an EAUC Member, is set to save nearly 200 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year and cut costs by around £1.3 million over the next 10 years.
The new automated lighting system, with innovative lamps for both internal and external areas, has been introduced as part of the college’s commitment to reducing its carbon footprint by 40 per cent over the next five years.
CRC was the first further education college in the country to be awarded ISO14001 certification for an Environmental Management System for all its operations, and other plans include making its buildings more energy-efficient, reducing emissions from business travel and fleet vehicles, and encouraging staff and students to use greener methods of travel.
Trevor Smith, the college’s Facilities Manager, said: “CRC is a large campus of 12 educational buildings ranging from workshops to classrooms equipped with hi-tech equipment, so it was important that we got the LED lighting solution and the Passive InfraRed sensor solution right first time. 
“We gave staff the opportunity to view a trial area for a month before embarking on a major re-fit throughout all of our buildings as well as the external lighting.
“The outcome is a well-lit campus, internally and externally, as well as a reduced carbon footprint - lighting is automatically switched off when areas are unoccupied - and year-on-year savings on running costs.” 
The new system will mean an annual CO2 saving of 189 tonnes, and a cost saving of around £160,000 a year.
Installing timers on electronic equipment to reduce power usage and improving recycling to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill are among the other measures planned for a greener college.
Smaller things are also making a difference - for instance, the college is changing all the towels in its hair salons to microfibre towels, which are longer lasting, take up less room in the washing machine and are quicker to dry in the tumble dryer.
All staff have taken part in environmental training, highlighting energy-saving and waste management, and the college aims to teach students best practice in environmental matters, so that when they go into the workplace they will be aware of saving energy and minimising waste.

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