Drummunds care home in Essex identified £115,423 in cost savings and 632 tonnes of carbon savings, after an energy audit by Groundwork.

The care home is part of Black Swan International and provides residential and respite care for people with physical and learning difficulties with an innovative and inclusive solution.

Groundwork’s Environmental Business Advisor was asked to undertake an energy audit to see where the home could reduce their energy usage. Particular focus was paid to the heating system, lighting, and building fabric. Heating costs are the primary energy expenditure because thermal comfort is of key importance for the residents. The audit also looked at how they could save water and generate energy through solar power.

A recommendation was to monitor and manage electricity use by logging usage to identify the highest users, and subsequently taking action to reduce overuse. It was also suggested an upgrade in their current fluorescent tubes to efficient
and long-lasting LED lighting would reduce their electricity outgoings.

To reduce the cost of their heating bill it was suggested that the building fabric be upgraded by adding insulation in the walls, under the floors and between the roof and ceiling to reduce heat loss. Also, to install double glazed external doors,
windows, and roof lights. It was also recommended that the oil heating should change to biomass and natural gas as these perform more efficiently.

Further savings could be achieved by installing solar power such as a solar photovoltaic (PV) panels as there is a large flat roof that would house a large number of panels. If they installed solar thermal water heating, this new system would be able to provide 49% of their estimated total demand and by implementing water saving measures such as water efficient shower heads, low flow taps, tap aerators and toilet flush reductions devices they could save 5% usage or £463 on a £139 investment.

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