NEC reduces co2 emissions

08 September 2015 Sophia Charalambous

Birmingham’s National Exhibition Centre (NEC) has significantly reduced its level of CO2 emissions following the installation of smart meters across the whole site.

During the financial year 2014-15, the venue reduced its emissions by 742 tonnes – enough to make 1,045,070 cups of tea.

Smart meters record real time energy consumption, helping the NEC to better understand how gas and electricity is used across the site. The system can help identify anomalies in consumption which the venue team can then investigate and take the necessary action to minimise inefficient practises. 

During 2014/15, savings included *: 

• 129 tonnes from gas consumption – enough to power 25 average cars and 1554 vacuum cleaners for a year. 
• 192 tonnes from the efficient management of heating boilers, which would provide enough power to iron 24,615 shirts.
• 124 tonnes from back of house power management – enough to power a mobile phone to make a one hour phone call every day for 99.75years.

In 2013, the NEC became the largest single site installation of smart meters - over 850 meters to date have been installed across the venue’s 182,000 square metres of covered indoor space, 160 acres of hard standing ground and 75 acres of woodland. 

Brian Pell, NEC Group Operations Director, said: “Sustainability is at the heart of everything we do and we are committed to responsibly managing the environmental impact of our operations. Smart meters are another way in which we are successfully achieving this.”

The NEC takes its green credentials seriously and has been a zero waste to landfill site since 2012, thanks in part to an on-site waste pre-treatment centre. It is also committed to ensuring that any waste that travels off site for further processing never travels more than 30 miles so that C02 emissions during travel are kept to a minimum. 

“With a venue the size of the NEC, it can be difficult to know exactly where and how much energy we are using, but the meters enable us to find this information instantly. We can then identify problem areas and address them.  We have been extremely pleased with the results of our energy savings since they were installed and with the ability to measure consumption year on year we expect to see continued improvements.”

The NEC has been recognised in the events industry and region for its environmental policies. It has recently won the Eco Award at the Exhibition News Awards, The Environmental Award and the Birmingham Business Post Awards and picked up the Best Waste and Recycling Award at Birmingham City Council’s Sustainability and Recycling Awards.