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Powerstar council case study

Cotswold District Council in Gloucestershire is committed to more efficient use of the energy they consume and to reduce the size of their carbon footprint. The council has a carbon management plan that aims to cut carbon dioxide emissions by 25% by 2015. The council asked Powerstar to demonstrate whether voltage optimisation offered a cost-effective way to lower its energy consumption at Cotswold Leisure Centre.

One of the council's principal priorities is "cleaner and greener" which has an emphasis on cutting waste to landfill, more recycling, less litter and lower carbon emissions. Cotswold Leisure Centre aims to provide opportunities for the community to enrich their lives, and general well-being, through a total health experience.

The new Cotswold Leisure Centre building opened in April 2006, and features both wet and dry facilities, spread over two floors, offering a varied programme of activities for people of all ages and abilities. The council's carbon management plan aims to make a substantial cut in carbon emissions, in line with the overall approach to reduce the environmental impact on the area through the "cleaner and greener" initiative.

The council targeted the leisure centre to improve the energy efficiency and to cut costs through lower electricity charges. Powerstar were challenged to establish whether the level of savings that voltage optimisation could achieve at the site would offer a cost-effective solution.

Powerstar was commissioned to install a 286KVA unit at the leisure centre. Powerstar is the only voltage optimisation system designed and manufactured in the UK and is the highest rated with an efficiency of 99.91%. At its heart, the system lowers current and voltage harmonic distortions to reduce energy consumption and operating temperatures. A key additional benefit of Powerstar is that it comes with an online monitoring and targeting tool. This will enable the council to closely monitor its overall energy usage and take further steps to reduce consumption; this could be as simple as turning off unnecessary lighting.

Powerstar is enabling Cotswold Leisure Centre to make a 57,614KwH saving in energy consumption. This equates to an overall energy saving of 8%. The centre has also decreased its carbon footprint by reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 54 tonnes. In monetary terms Powerstar is projected to make an annual saving of £7,800 on the leisure centre's electricity costs.

"The introduction of the Powerstar unit at the leisure centre building is a significant contributor to Cotswold District Council's energy saving programme. I am particularly pleased that we have reduced costs while contributing to our goal of achieving a 25% reduction in harmful carbon emissions by 2015."—Councillor Mark Tufnell, Cabinet Member for Environment and Communities, Cotswold District Council.

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