The London School of Economics and Political Science cut their emissions by over 15% in the 2015/16 academic year. In order to work towards the university’s ambitious reduction target of 54%, LSE has used the RE:FIT scheme to drive down their emissions. The RE:FIT scheme is the Mayor of London’s programme to help make the city’s non-domestic public buildings more energy- efficient. We spoke with Jessica Lobo, Sustainability Engagement Officer at LSE about the success of the scheme.
The London School of Economics and Political Science has already undertaken many carbon-saving initiatives and embedded energy efficienc across their estate and operations. However, with ambitious energy reduction targets and sustainability as a key objective of LSE’s 2020 Strategy this was not enough. With little “low hanging fruit” left to pick, LSE turned to the Mayor of London’s RE:FIT scheme which allows organisations to appoint an energy service company to implement energy and water conservation measures. The RE:FIT project was a major contributor to LSE’s carbon reductions achieved in 2015-16.
LSE’s ambitious energy conservation
LSE invested £2.3 million in energy conservation measures across our estate in partnership with energy service company Bouygues. Work began in mid-2015, and was completed by the end of 2016. In total, 68 energy conservation measures were installed in 14 buildings, covering half of LSE’s total floor area. The measures included lighting and Building Management System upgrades, installation of photovoltaic panels, insulation and upgrades of heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems. The project’s payback period is around 8 years.
Cutting carbon and improving student experience
The project has already surpassed our expectations. To date, the Measurement & Verification calculations show we have achieved:
- 16% reduction in electricity usage, against the targeted 13%
- 18% reduction in gas, against the 8% targeted
In total, RE:FIT is expected to save LSE around 2,800,000 kWh. This is equivalent to 1,100 tonnes of CO2e per year: 8% of our total 2005-06 baseline. We have saved an average of £216,500 a year in utility costs, as well as reducing maintenance costs through the installation of newer technologies and equipment which have longer lifespans.
The RE:FIT works have vastly improved the comfort of the building users. The installation of LED lighting in the library for example has enhanced student experience, making the environment a better and more pleasant place to study. Improved energy monitoring through the Measurement & Verification process has led to a better understanding of our buildings. In addition, this improved monitoring creates the opportunity to raise awareness and engage staff directly in understanding the energy usage of their building.
Dissemination and further retrofits
As a result of engaging with the RE:FIT programme, LSE has been able to share experiences and exchange best practices with a number of other organisations including the City of Edinburgh and the City of London.
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