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How Ipswich's Sailmakers Shopping Centre saved £21,000 by going green

PUBLISHED: 15:23 05 September 2019

Sailmakers manager Mike Sorhaindo with one of the new low-energy bulbs. Picture: SIMON LEE/SAILMAKERS

Sailmakers manager Mike Sorhaindo with one of the new low-energy bulbs. Picture: SIMON LEE/SAILMAKERS

Simon Lee Photography

An Ipswich shopping centre is in the running for a major 'green' award after slashing its electricity consumption by 30% - and saving more than £20,000 a year.

Sailmakers manager Mike Sorhaindo has scooped a Energy Efficient Award Picture: PAGEPIX LTDSailmakers manager Mike Sorhaindo has scooped a Energy Efficient Award Picture: PAGEPIX LTD

Sailmakers Shopping Centre manager Mike Sorhaindo has been short-listed in the prestigious JLL Retail Property Management Awards as Sustainability Champion of the Year.

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He is being recognised after masterminding a retrofit lighting scheme which cost just £4,500 but is in line to save the centre £21,000 off its annual electricity bill of more than £70,000.

It could be a second award for the centre manager who has already been crowned East of England Energy Champion 2019 in the Energy Efficiency Awards.

The award nominations follow a major revamp of the centre's lighting systems as 240 low energy LED bulbs have been installed and the circuitry of its night lighting improved to allow unnecessary lighting to be switched off after hours.

Sailmakers manager Mike Sorhaindo with his green award Picture: PAGEPIX LTDSailmakers manager Mike Sorhaindo with his green award Picture: PAGEPIX LTD

Mr Sorhaindo was originally tasked with cutting electricity consumption by 3% but teamed up with the centre's technical manager James Griffin for something all together more ambitious.

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"It had become very apparent to me that we were using many lights overnight when the centre was not even open and this presented a real opportunity for savings", he said.

"It turned out over 100 lights were still on throughout the building overnight just because of the old safety circuits they were connected into.

"We had a quote for renewing the lighting which had come in at over £20,000 which we considered prohibitive so we looked at the option of retro-fitting, hoping to achieve a five per cent saving.

"We've done much better than that and ended up saving the amount of money we would have had to pay for the proposed new system."

The manager added: "We also reduced back of house lighting costs by replacing the old-fashioned fluorescent tubes in a simple retro fit using the old fittings but changing the tubes to LED type.

"This only took a month and we recouped the cost within four months."

Electricity bills have plummeted following the changes made as electrical use at Sailmakers has gone from a daily average of 1.5 megawatts per hour for a 24-hour day to 0.95 MwH.

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