Council’s Carbon Management Programme boosted by IMServ’s energy management solutions


As part of the Carbon Management Programme, Bedford Borough Council introduced several energy saving initiatives, including bringing in IMServ and rolling out Automatic Meter Readers (AMRs) across its estate.

Bedford Borough Council

In 2010 Bedford Borough Council was selected to participate in the Carbon Trust’s Local Authority Carbon Management Programme. The programme was designed to help councils assess their baseline emissions, project future emissions, and identify a series of carbon management projects to lower emissions. Working in collaboration with the Carbon Trust, Bedford Borough Council developed a Carbon Management Plan for its estate. The plan outlines the Council’s commitment to reduce its carbon emissions by an aspirational 40% by March 2015; resulting in savings of 39,867 tonnes of CO 2 and almost £8 million.

Samantha Guy, Corporate Carbon and Energy Manager at Bedford Borough Council says:

“The Council is responsible for approximately 200 sites ranging from office buildings, depots and community centres to museums and leisure sites. In addition there are 84 schools in the Borough. Each site has considerably different energy requirements and so there was a real need to understand each site’s needs, and then identify areas for potential savings.”

The Sub-metering Solution

As part of the Carbon Management Programme, the Council introduced several energy saving initiatives, including bringing in IMServ, one of the UK’s largest independent energy data management providers.

Samantha continues:

“We started working with IMServ in 2010 and decided to roll out Automatic Meter Readers (AMRs) across the Council’s estate. We chose to work with IMServ because the company offered the best value for money.”

An AMR automatically collects consumption, diagnostic and status data from energy metering devices and transfers that information to a central database. The installation of AMRs provides more accurate data which can be measured and used to interpret energy consumption.

The Results

To date Bedford Borough Council has installed 271 Electricity AMRs and 170 Gas AMRs across its estate. Samantha says these meters have resulted in the acquisition of considerable volumes of data, all of which is readily available to interpret with greater accuracy and visibility of information, which can be used to make informed decisions about the entire estate’s energy management.

“By installing AMRs across the Council’s building portfolio and schools we have been provided with a wealth of data. This information is fed into a software package for interpretation and analysis, allowing us to not only monitor, but also target energy reductions and carbon savings.

“We also pass on AMR readings to our suppliers to ensure bills are based on actual, rather than estimated consumption. Prior to the installation of AMRs, manual readings were required which were often inaccurate and cost the Council in both time and money.

“The installation of AMRs has been an integral part of delivering the Council’s Carbon Management Plan to reduce carbon emissions. The Council acknowledges the impact that its services have on the environment and so is determined to be at the forefront of climate change action, reducing both indirect and direct greenhouse gas emissions. The rollout of AMR devices has been just one part of a huge project, which has helped the Council to significantly reduce its energy consumption and manage its energy.”