Described as the “eighth wonder of the world,” the Eden Project is home to over a million plant varieties; it is the world’s largest rainforest in captivity. Given its clear environmental stature, Eden has set itself a challenging target: to reduce energy consumption by a total of 25 per cent by 2013 against a 2007/2008 baseline.

Challenge: Measurement and verification to keep the project on the right course

Eden is investing £580,000 in technical energy efficiency initiatives with financial savings calculated at £160,000 per year (including the reduction in the carbon offset bill), meaning the initiatives are projected to pay for themselves in less than three and a half years.

As the investment will be paid for by a combination of Eden’s capital planning programme and an interest-free loan from the Carbon Trust, which will be paid back from the savings made, it is essential that verification is independent. Matt Hastings, Energy Manager for Eden said:

With the Carbon Trust loan being paid back from savings generated it is vital that these initiatives deliver the savings predicted, not just in the first few months but continuously throughout the three and half years payback period. Equally important is that we isolate the performance of these initiatives from the external energy influencers such as variations in weather and visitor numbers.” 

To ensure the verification work was professional and independent, Matt turned to C3 Resources, who are one of a handful of companies throughout the country qualified to provide “Measurement & Verification” reporting services to IPMVP standards.

Thinking: Get involved in the detail and develop bespoke energy consumption models

Bespoke energy consumption models, using C3’s unique C3ntinal software, were developed for the different plant rooms and buildings that are part of the initiatives and daily models developed using outside air temperature, solar irradiance and visitor numbers. The models have been used to report on savings, but have also been useful in highlighting incorrectly commissioned equipment and mechanical faults.

Results: Confidently on course and in position to go further

The work has been on-going since July 2010 for the Visitor Centre and Energy Centre and the results show an annual savings of 19% in the Visitor Centre (103,930 kWh) and 10% in the Energy Centre (519,294 kWh).