Its single price point and commitment to value for its customers means that Poundland is under constant pressure to drive business costs down. In response, the company has focused on a variety of measures including lowering its carbon emissions to minimise annual costs, particularly in the face of rising energy prices. The company continually investigates and tests new solutions to reduce its carbon footprint, focusing on four key areas; using less electricity, maximising recycling opportunities, improving fuel efficiency and reducing packaging waste.
In its commitment to reducing emissions and associated costs, Poundland needed to gain a more accurate understanding of its energy usage and wastage. This was also essential in being able to comply with the UK’s mandatory Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) scheme, in which it is required to report energy consumption through the internationally recognised Carbon Disclosure Project. Keen to reap the benefits of early action metrics, the company reviewed the market for a partner that could install meters, collect the data, aggregate it and analyse individual store profiles to reduce energy consumption.
In 2010 Poundland sought the help of IMServ (http://www.imserv.com/
IMServ was commissioned to install Non-Half Hourly (NHH) and Half Hourly (HH) Automated Meter Readers (AMR), along with its Energy DataVision (EDV) which provides Poundland with the key to end-to-end energy management, everything from data collection and storage, through to reporting and analysis.
Jonathan Hughes, Energy Manager at Poundland explained: “Energy DataVision (EDV) is where I spend a huge amount of my time, the system visually charts energy usage across our stores so we can tackle wastage from a position of knowledge. EDV has become an invaluable tool to identifying waste and monitoring variations from the norm. Any anomalies identified can then be immediately raised with the Store Manager and we can work through any issues and strategies for addressing these spikes.”
Poundland quickly recognised that the implementation of metering was only part of the story and money could only be saved if the information gained was actively used to reduce energy consumption through behavioural change strategies which encouraged energy saving consciousness. Jonathan explains: “Our Managers are now given 16 week rolling targets with incentives to encourage them to take ownership over their stores energy consumption. We have also introduced store league tables which can be used to encourage a competitive spirit amongst the staff.”
With the introduction of IMServ’s technology, and access to accurate data, Poundland has been able to accurately forecast its energy usage and ensure energy bills are correct as these are no longer based on estimates.
To date, IMServ has installed 70 Half-Hourly meters and a further 400 Non-Half-Hourly AMR meters into Poundland stores. By utilising the information these meters generate, Poundland has implemented an energy efficiency campaign which aims to mitigate much of the cost increases brought about by its continuing expansion, this more than pays for the cost of installing the AMR meters in the first place.
Jonathan explained: “With over 500 UK stores operated from retail parks, shopping centres and high streets, each store presents a different challenge when it comes to rolling out meter upgrades. However, IMServ ensured there was no disruption to business, all of the installation took place out of hours with minimum disruption and was stress free.
“We have been delighted with the service we receive from IMServ. With bottom line savings of £450,000, they have more than justified our decision to partner with them.
We have just completed a three month trial of IMServ’s Micro Building Energy Management System, control 10, this helped us monitor and control energy usage in our smaller premises. The trial was a great success and resulted in energy reductions of 11.45%, we are currently developing a case to gain funding for a roll out to additional small stores and look forward to achieving further success in partnership with IMServ.”