Saint-Gobain UK’s ‘power down’ campaign saves GBP 165,000

Saint-Gobain UK & Ireland has reported savings at more than 20 of its factories

Thanks to a campaign to encourage its factories to ‘power down’ at peak energy periods, Saint-Gobain UK & Ireland has reported savings and cost reductions caused by ‘Triad’ charges which are levied on large business users.

Saint-Gobain UK & Ireland has reported savings of GBP 165,000 at more than 20 of its factories in the UK and Ireland thanks to a campaign to encourage its factories to ‘power down’ at peak energy periods.
The campaign, set up with its energy supplier SmartestEnergy on the campaign, focused on minimising the firm’s exposure to ‘Triad’ charges which are levied on large business users based on their electricity use over the three half-hours of highest demand on the grid each winter.
According to Saint-Gobain Glass’ Engineering Manager, Michael Dickinson, the charges mean running costs at its sites can increase by as much as 500 times during one of the Triad periods, which are announced by National Grid at the end of each winter.
“Although it represents a sizeable proportion of business energy bills, the Triad system is something of a mystery to most people so we wanted to raise awareness across our sites, explain how it works and look at some of the ways we could look to reduce our costs,” explained Michael.
By switching some machinery off or rescheduling factory operations for a short period of time from around 4pm to 6pm – the peak time for Triads –  demand across the sites during the three Triad periods showed an 11% fall.
One site, Holwell Works at Melton Mowbray, achieved a saving equivalent of more than a whole month’s energy costs at the site. 
“As well as reducing our costs and helping maintain our competitiveness, it also ties in well with our aims as a company to minimise our environmental impact and contribute to the economic and social development of the communities we operate in,” said Michael.
 “Reducing our peak demand plays a part in helping balance the grid, ensuring the UK’s energy supplies are maintained and reducing the need for more generation capacity to be built.”
The two companies are planning another joint awareness campaign ahead of this winter.