York House Surgery has been supported by a locally based adviser from Groundwork Oldham and Rochdale to reduce its environmental impact, with funding from the ENWORKS programme.
So far, ENWORKS has helped the SME to implement eight low-cost or no-cost improvement projects.
Electricity consumption has been addressed by replacing old fluorescent tubes with new, more energy-efficient models, throughout the surgery.
This is saving over £1,100 a year and the costs of the new fittings paid back within about 10 months. The CO2e savings are 5.5 tonnes per year.
When Groundwork Oldham and Rochdale carried out their review of the site, the adviser found that temperatures were much higher than recommended for office spaces, and electric fans were being used for cooling in some areas.
To combat this, thermostatic radiator locks were fitted, to maintain optimum temperatures in the building, and a seven-day timer was installed to allow the heating to be switched off at weekends, while the surgery was closed.
This has reduced annual gas bills by more than £2,200 and saved 16 tonnes of CO2e per year in the process. Again, the initial payback period for the new fittings was only about 10 months.
As part of York House Surgery’s environmental drive, water consumption has also been addressed. There are only four toilets in the building but save-a-flush bags have been installed in each of the cisterns, to save about one litre of mains water, per flush.
Tap aerators have also been fitted to the basins, so that less water is used for every hand wash, saving 120 cubic metres (m3) of water per year and £165 on annual bills.
Elsewhere, waste disposal costs have been tackled by reducing the amount that is generated, for example by defaulting to double-sided printing in the offices, and by recycling more.
Double-sided printing reduces the amount of paper the business needs to purchase, and segregating different types of waste into separate containers means that less waste ends up in landfill.
Cardboard waste is now routinely recycled and this alone has saved five tonnes of card per year.
As a result of these simple waste management initiatives, the business is saving £1,200 per year and another 2.5 tonnes of CO2e.
A spokesperson for the York House Surgery said: “We’re extremely happy with the work Groundwork carried out, under the ENWORKS programme, to identify opportunities for reducing our carbon footprint.
“The advice and follow-up support has really helped us. Thanks to this we now have new boiler controls, improved lighting and thermostatic radiator valves, which will not only save energy but will save much needed money for the surgery as well.”
Case study published on 31 October 2012