The challenge

As a major driving force behind the UK’s electricity and gas network, National Grid is vital in connecting millions of people safely and reliably to the energy they use.

Energy efficiency is extremely important in these high-cost times, and by virtue of its position within the industry, National Grid is expected to be a leader in this respect. In other words, like the thousands of companies it supplies to, National Grid must also align with carbon reduction challenges and keep operational costs to a minimum.

This proved a major headache for the company considering the sheer scale of their operation in terms of the number of premises involved and geographical reach. Many of the buildings National Grid used had services that could only be described as ‘antiquated’. 

national grid 1

The requirements

National Grid conducted site surveys of their existing cooling and heating systems across their network of 145 substations. Many of these were old, inefficient, and, in some cases, non-operational. A major concern amongst management - especially the compliance team - was that the company had R22 refrigerant on many of the sites. This is despite its use having been banned at the end of 2014. Government legislation dictated that from Jan 2015, any business still using R22 equipment that needed an overhaul had to replace it immediately. 

The solution

Following its assessment of all sites, National Grid implemented a programme to quickly and efficiently swap out the old systems and replace them with much more efficient and environmentally friendly products.

As a result, updates and improvements were made on more than 140 sites across the UK, helping to save National Grid energy and operational costs. In addition, throughout the upgrade, focusing on individual set points and time cycles helped the company reduce its energy use even further.

Upgrade of the air conditioning systems was teamed with state-of-the-art controls. This guarantees the optimum air environment and, at the same time, supports operations to minimise running costs and preserve energy.

National Grid now has efficient, up-to-date equipment which operates at low running costs and meets all current legislation. The company makes savings of around £386,000 annually. It also reduces carbon by around 2 million kg over the same period. 

Installing energy-efficient products means National Grid benefits from £1 million in ECA tax relief.

national grid 2

We have used the latest Mitsubishi Electric technology, which means running costs, savings, and carbon reduction are between 30% and 50% when old R22 equipment is replaced with like-for-like sizes

Paul Sibson
Project Manager,
National Grid

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