Newport City Council Save £30,000 In 6 Week Project With Surple

The team at Surple have been great to work with and their simple software solution is something that would improve any organisation's strategy towards energy efficiency.

Ross Cudlipp
Energy & Sustainability Manager
Newport City Council

The Challenge

In 2016, Newport City Council spent £4.1 million on energy and water. The schools in the region accounted for £1.7 million of this. 

Newport's energy management team consisted of two people. They were responsible for managing energy across hundreds of council-owned sites. And if they were lucky, they'd find time to visit each school once a year.

It was during these visits that they'd identify and correct any energy-related issues. 

With a demanding job on their hands and overstretched resources, they decided to look for a solution.

The Solution

The energy management team at Newport City Council set out to find a product that would help them to reduce the energy costs of the schools in their portfolio.

They needed something that would allow the schools to see their electricity, gas and water use and notify them of any unexpectedly high usage.

Additionally, headteachers and caretakers in the schools needed the ability to communicate maintenance issues back to the energy management team quickly and easily.

The team found Surple. They were impressed with its usability and functionality so decided to trial it in a pilot project.

The council ran a 6 week project with 5 primary schools. They explained to the schools that it was their responsibility to monitor their energy data using Surple.

They also told them that if they came across any issues, they should submit them through Surple.

The Results

Increased visibility of the school's utility consumption and a direct communication channel between the schools and the energy management team resulted in the identification of several energy-related issues worth more than £30,000 in annual savings.

Water savings of £21,490 a year

As an incentive for taking part in the project, the schools had automatic water meters installed.  

Connecting the water data to Surple allowed the council to monitor the school's water consumption for the first time. 

This uncovered several water leaks across the project sites that the team repaired.

If left untreated, the leaks would have resulted in 7,323,360 litres of water waste each year. This is equivalent to £21,490.25 of annual savings.

Optimised heating controls

In one school, a caretaker used Surple to submit an Issue to the energy management team because the temperature was too high.

demonstration of how the Surple communications fearture was used in the Newport City Council case study

As soon as this happened, the energy management team received an email notification, alerting them of the issue and prompting them to lower the building temperature.

Without this project, the problem wouldn't have been reported and would've unnecessarily cost the council thousands of pounds.

Identification of broken equipment

Surple's anomaly detection service identified that one school had unusually high electricity consumption at night when the building was empty and not in use.

It turned out there was a fault with the car park lighting timer. The lights had been unintentionally left on overnight for several months, costing the council hundreds of pounds worth of electricity.

The council had a new, working timer installed. A few days later, using Surple, the council reviewed the impact of replacing the timer and saw that energy consumption had returned to normal.


This pilot project only included 5 schools and ran for a limited period of 6 weeks.

But, it was responsible for significant energy savings in excess of £30,000 a year.

After realising the savings-potential of the whole organisation, the council increased the size of its energy management team. 

Surple has since become Newport City Council's principal energy analytics partner, working closely with the organisation to build the most usable, flexible and functional product on the market. 

If you'd like to use Surple to reduce your business energy costs, click the link below to book your demo today. 

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