Archant print centre cuts �40k from annual electricity bill with new measures

A HIGH-tech print business is saving thousands of pounds a year thanks to a new way of monitoring energy, which has also helped secure the full-time job of a staff member.

The team at the Archant print centre, which produces the Cambs Times and Wisbech Standard, have implemented a range of measures which have cut more than �40,000 a year from the electricity bill.

Opened in 1995, the �40million centre near Norwich houses printing technology used to publish a million newspapers a week, including Archant’s four daily titles and more than 70 weeklies.

David Marsden, chief engineer at the centre, which employs 100 people, said: “The first step was to find out how much energy we were using because without knowing that there was no way to work out what we could save.”

This was done by monitoring a new online metering service which allows businesses to see half-hourly reports on the electricity they are using.

Even though the presses shut down on a Saturday and do not begin again until Sunday night, analysing the figures, provided EDF Energy’s Energy View scheme, showed that more than �1,000 was still being spent on electricity during weekends.

David Cockburn, financial controller for group operations, said: “We looked from 7am on a Saturday when the presses stopped running until 10pm on a Sunday when they started up again and mapped out how much we were spending.

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“There are obviously things that need to be left on but while this time last year it cost �1,500 during those 39 hours, we have now managed to bring this down to about �650.”

Much of the waste cutting has been done by identifying and switching off unnecessary equipment, putting others on a timer and streamlining processes to make better use of energy.

They have also instigated a weekly check for leaks of compressed air, used within the printing process, which is saving the company hundreds of pounds and has secured a full-time job for a member of staff who was facing having his hours cut.

Light switches have stickers on to remind people to switch off and there is a checklist which the last person to leave the centre completes to make sure energy is not being wasted.

Mr Marsden also said: “It has been a team effort and everyone has played and is playing their part as we try and take this further. It gets harder from here but we are aiming to save even more energy.”

Energy View is a secure online monitoring and targeting tool for EDF Energy customers. Fraser Grant, online product manager for the company, said: “This is fantastic news for our customer and a great example of how EDF Energy works in partnership with our business customers to help them save money.”