Thames Valley Police: energy monitoring comes into force


Established on April 1, 1968, the Thames Valley Police are the largest non-metropolitan police force in England and Wales. Thames Valley is policed by 4,125 police officers, 3,397 police staff, 530 police community support officers, and 260 special constables, assisted by over 500 volunteers. Over 2.1 million people rely on Thames Valley Police. With over 196 miles of motorway to patrol, they cover more ground than any other police force in Britain.

In addition to fostering trust and confidence in their community, providing police services and developing their staff to provide the highest level of service, Thames Valley Police’s stated strategic objective includes improving the use of resources. Their vast reach, covering five Basic Command Unit areas, requires a great deal of resources. Managing these resources is the responsibility of Neil Wickham.

“We operate from 220 buildings, ranging from radio communication masts on remote hill-top sites to Milton Keynes, one of the UK’s largest operational police stations. As Energy Manager, I need to understand how and when energy is consumed in each building as I develop a strategy to help reduce that consumption,” said Wickham, Energy Manager, Thames Valley Police.

The Police Go to Trial with IMServ

To explore how it can better control energy expenditure, Thames Valley Police are taking part in an IMServ monitoring trial. IMServ is one of the UK’s leading brands in Carbon & Energy Solutions: from complete end-to-end outsourced solutions to individual services and consultancy, all with the same objective – to meet specific business needs and energy targets.

IMServ’s breadth of expertise and resources can help any organisation develop an energy plan whether they are just starting out, or have implemented some existing energy management plans. IMServ provides support in three key areas: energy monitoring, visualisation and control.

By utilising Energy DataVision (EDV), the police force will be able to see unexpected surges in consumption and take appropriate action. Before Energy Datavision, the only indicator of energy waste was a larger than normal energy bill. This reactive approach provided little insight into when and where energy usage surged or how to reduce consumption.

Thames Valley Police, working with IMServ, selected 11 sites, ranging from a 19th century station in Newport Pagnell to the modern unit in Milton Keynes shopping center to be fitted with multi-utility half hourly meters to monitor energy usage. Their readings will be compiled and presented through a secure website based on Energy DataVision (EDV). The trial will last at least a year, to account for seasonal variations, and, if successful, the system will be considered for roll-out across all five of Thames Valley’s Basic Command Unit areas: West Berkshire, East Berkshire, Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes.

According to Wickham, “My main aim is to lower base load consumption. At the moment even a small unit, used as a public service office, has a high base load throughout the day and night. Lowering this minimum spend across the board would lead to huge annual savings.”

Footing the Bill

If the system goes live across the region, Wickham says Energy DataVision will be an invaluable tool for managers in validating bills and disseminating information. Each Business Manager will be able to access the information they need through a full suite of reports that track energy usage monthly, weekly and daily, delivering relevant intelligence and calling time on lengthy reports.

In order to capitalise on the data provided by Energy DataVision, IMServ solutions will deliver proactive Energy Management and Carbon Control initiatives including alerts and controls, business process changes, active management of energy through constant monitoring and altering staff behaviour.

Energy Monitoring Facilitates a Greener Future Police Force

The Carbon Trust and AML Consultants are heavily involved in the trial, providing analysis and support; they plan to use the data in a review of building energy consumption and as part of a wider monitoring project. This, in turn, will have an impact on how police buildings are designed and operated in the future. For instance, Neil plans to use IMServ energy intelligence to ensure new stations being planned are designed to be as energy efficient as possible.