Matalan is achieving 18% energy savings with a new building energy management system.
Technology designed by Wireless Energy Management Systems (WEMS) International is being installed at 206 of the 216-store estate, with 141 stores already completed, producing an estimated annual saving of £668,676.
With the Matalan estate registering a combined energy cost of over £12m per year, energy consultants Inenco suggested that the UK-manufactured WEMS’ wireless system, which has been developed using open source platforms and can be controlled from anywhere in the world via the internet.
Following a trial at five stores in 2012, Matalan decided to roll-out the technology throughout its building stock, particularly as the payback periods are expected to be six to seven months.
The company’s environmental manager, David Derbyshire, says: “The installed stores have shown a considerable reduction in energy consumption of circa 18% and this is reflected in our energy bill which has decreased dramatically since implementation. We’re continuing to work with WEMS to optimise our estate and drive further savings.”
The system directly controls and monitors Matalan’s lighting, heating and cooling plant, removing the possibility of human error and minimising waste energy. This incorporates sales area lighting, back-of-house lighting, external lighting, air handling units (AHUs), over-door heaters, gas-fired heaters, split air conditioning units and electric panel heaters.
There is a wireless key switch to ensure a minimal overnight base load with regard to lighting. When the keyswitch is unset, this enables a level of lighting adequate for stocking and cleaning prior to the store opening.
Aside from energy savings and carbon reduction, there were plenty more reasons that attracted Matalan to WEMSystem. For instance, the technology costs around 40-50% less than a conventional hard-wired system, while installation times are also reduced by around 75%. The non-intrusive installation is attractive to sectors such as retail and leisure as it minimises trading disruption.