Surple has been so useful for us during the lockdown because it's enabled the energy management team to work remotely and continue to monitor daily energy consumption across the organisation. The various tools within Surple have also helped overcome much of the challenges associated with working off-site.Joel Kirby
Energy and Environmental Manager
Celtic Manor Resort
Home of The 2010 Ryder Cup and host venue of the NATO Summit 2014, the five-star Celtic Manor Resort welcomes thousands of visitors every year.
However, in March 2020, the UK was forced into lockdown as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The hospitality industry was hit hard.
The resort could no longer offer their services to the public, and revenues collapsed, making cost reduction the biggest priority for the business.
With five hotels, eight restaurants, a new convention centre and multiple health clubs, it's no surprise that the Celtic Manor Resort has a huge energy spend.
The challenge was keeping these costs as low as possible for the duration of the lockdown.
The energy management team at the Celtic Manor Resort implemented a full shutdown in all of their closed buildings.
They shut down all air handling units, boiler plant, switched off non-critical lighting, fridges, freezers and non-critical networks.
But switching everything off was just the first step. The team needed a way of making sure usage didn't creep back up as a result of the skeleton crew on site accidentally leaving appliances on or possibly due to faulty equipment.
This was where Surple came in. After the shutdown, the energy management team were able to log in to Surple remotely to monitor daily energy consumption across the organisation.
Useful resource: Practical Guide To Managing Energy Remotely »
And they were even able to go a step further than this. Using Surple, the energy management team recorded the energy consumption of each site after the shutdown. Or in other words, each site's baseload.
With this value, the team applied a set of alarms to their energy consumption using Surple. When triggered, the alarms would notify the team, allowing them to put an end to the waste before incurring unnecessary costs.
By using this technique and reaching their theoretical baseline, the shutdown implemented by the Celtic Manor energy team resulted in significant cost reductions during the lockdown, in most cases by well over 70%.
The energy alarms set in Surple ensured that savings stayed at this level until the resort was allowed to reopen.
This was hugely important as it saved the business thousands of pounds at a time where they couldn't generate revenue.
Example 1. Tŷ Hotel
Before COVID-19, energy use at Tŷ Hotel followed a pretty typical pattern.
There was steadily high use throughout the day with spikes in the morning and evening for breakfast and dinner. Average half-hourly energy use was approximately 30 kWh.
After the shutdown at Tŷ Hotel, the Celtic Manor energy team used Surple to identify a baseload of approximately 8 kWh — roughly a 73% reduction compared to normal usage.
They set alarms to keep on top of energy use and receive notifications if usage exceeded 9 kWh in any half-hour period.
During lockdown, the alarms notified members of staff when usage exceeded this value — prompting them to check the site and take appropriate energy-saving action.
An example of this can be seen in the image below where energy use at 23:00 on the 5th of May exceeded the threshold of 9 kWh. This would've triggered the alarm.
As you can see, energy consumption returned to normal levels in the next half-hour period — demonstrating how a member of staff likely fixed the issue by turning off lights or switching off an appliance.
Example 2. The Golf Club
It was a very similar story for the Celtic Manor Golf Club.
The Golf Club had consumption peaks of 188 kWh at around midday and a half-hourly average of approximately 80 kWh.
The shutdown revealed a baseload of 18 kWh for the Golf Club.
Following the same process as before, the energy management team set alarms on the Golf Club's usage that would fire if consumption in any half-hour period exceeded 19 kWh.
By reacting quickly to these alarms, the energy management team at the Celtic Manor were able to reduce the Golf Club's energy consumption by 78% during the lockdown.
Step-by-step guide: How To Set Energy Alarms That Will Save You Thousands »
COVID-19 hit the hospitality industry hard, and the Celtic Manor Resort was no exception.
Thankfully though, the quick-thinking of the energy management team to implement a full shutdown of all of their assets and to maintain this shutdown using energy alarms in Surple resulted in massive cost reductions across the estate.
Ultimately, energy costs during the lockdown were as low as they could have been — saving the business thousands of pounds.
Further reading: Q&A: Joel Kirby on Managing Energy During COVID-19 »
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