AMR roll out and consumption alerts assist Superdrug to make further energy savings.

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Overview

Superdrug are the United Kingdom’s second-largest beauty and health retailer currently operating over 750 stores in England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland including 200 in-store pharmacies.

Superdrug recognises the importance of managing its own sustainability and the link between environmental good practice, social responsibility and economic prosperity. The Environment is one of Superdrug’s four corporate social responsibility (CSR) pillars. CSR is seen as an important responsibility to Superdrug’s stakeholders and an opportunity to develop business.

Superdrug has been actively reducing energy consumption since 2010 and has delivered considerable reductions over this period. One of the main motivations for success was the estate wide roll out of smart metering and the use of the half-hourly data to monitor energy consumption and deliver specific energy saving initiatives.

Superdrug partnered with STC for bill validation and energy procurement services in 2013 and benefited from the online web portal including the half-hourly profile viewer.

Challenges and Actions

STC have experience in providing M&T services to a number of customers in both the public and private sector and have identified numerous instances of abnormal consumption patterns. These abnormalities have been addressed by customers providing them with successful reductions in consumption.

STC’s software automatically detects unusual patterns of energy consumption in the half-hourly profile data and issues email alerts allowing action to be taken. The system has three stages:

  • Analysing data to produce appropriate profile targets
  • Monitoring consumption against target and detecting exceptions
  • Issuing profile alerts

STC also provide an Energy Desk Service. This service allows STC staff to actively review the results of the target alerts an d contact sites directly to follow up with them on your behalf. The help desk staff also hold a record of store opening hours and any planned refits so that they can rule out any false alerts.

Example case

The Profile Alerts system detected a pattern whereby substantial electricity was being used between midnight and 07:00 each morning. Ordinarily overnight electricity consumption would be expected to be very low.

beforeBefore

Following an investigation, this was found to be caused by the lighting timeclock being set incorrectly. An engineer was then able to make a simple change to the settings to ensure the lights always came on at the correct times.

afterAfter

The high out-of-hours electricity consumption was not obvious to staff; had this not been picked up by the profile alerts the same pattern may have persisted unnoticed indefinitely.

Annualised avoidable electricity consumption identified at this site was 50,000 kWh.

Lessons & Results

Over the first 12 months of the project the profile alerts service has identified large amounts of electricity savings and highlighted a number of technical and behavioural issues.

By contacting and discussing observed patterns with the stores, STC and Superdrug have been able to gain a clear insight into characteristic trends and have identified a number of common findings:

Technical

  • Last man out switches found to be missing or broken in a number of stores. Highlighted by the profile alerts service and resolved by electrician
  • Last man out switches found not to be covering all appropriate circuits, e.g. cosmetics displays. Fixed by re-wiring
  • Lighting time control settings incorrect or manually overridden and forgotten about

Behavioural / Managerial

  • Switching arrangements – identified a lack of staff knowledge on how lighting controls work. Addressed with staff training
  • Alerts and graphs have provided managers with evidence to address and escalate known issues e.g. weekend staff leaving heating on and forgetting to turn off

Refurbishment work

  • After store refurbishments, control arrangements were often found to have been removed and not properly reinstated. Snagging issue identified with contractor and rectified

Outcome

In the first 12 months avoidable electricity consumption of around 2,100,000 kWh was identified and addressed with sites, resulting in significant energy savings.

The service allows Superdrug to extract full value from electricity AMR profile data to identify and address unnecessary consumption and achieve significant energy savings.

Having a large multi-site estate, the project has been a real success in delivering clear actions from our smart meter data. The direct contact to site by STC raises awareness and aims to resolve issues without the need for capital investment.” Stephen Woods, Sustainability Manager

SUMMARY OF SAVINGS

  • 2,100,000 kWh annualised savings identified (1,136 tCO2e)
  • In excess of 50,000 kWh (27 tCO2e) reduction achieved at one site
  • 267 electricity meters included in the project
  • 330 calls to Superdrug stores
  • Cost savings of £230k

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