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Case studies

Case studies

Take a look at some of the steps we are taking to reduce our carbon footprint and how we are encouraging our colleagues and businesses to do the same.

Electric mini diggers

In 2019 Electricity North West became the region’s first company to purchase two state-of-the-art electric mini diggers.

The first models to go into full production in the construction industry, the new JCB mini diggers are fully electric and have zero exhaust emissions. 

At £33,250, the diggers are more expensive than their traditional counterparts, but electricity running costs are significantly lower at £811 a year, compared to £1,090 in diesel costs. 

Each vehicle will reduce our carbon emissions by 64 tonnes CO₂ equivalent (tCO₂e) a year which is valued at £32,090 using the BEIS value of CO₂ equivalent.

We’re so satisfied with the performance of the mini diggers, we bought two more.

As well as the environmental advantages associated with reduced carbon emissions, the electric diggers bring other benefits. They are five times quieter than traditional diesel vehicles which reduces noise disturbance for customers and allows for better communication between our engineers; this is safer for them and the public. 

Servicing costs for the diggers are expected to be up to 70% lower and they can be fully charged in two hours making them ideal for our engineers who work 24 hours a day to maintain the electricity network.

The vehicles are charged at our depots using electricity generated from renewable sources. 

Electric vehicles

To support and encourage colleagues to make the change to electric vehicles (EVs), we are investing in charging infrastructure and incentivising colleagues to adopt EVs.

98 new EV charge points will be installed at our sites for company and private vehicle use to add to the 15 we already have in place, at a cost of around £140,000. This includes 28 fast chargers (7/11kW) and 71 slow chargers (3kW/13amp sockets). 

Research suggests that the charging behaviour of current EV users is to charge their EV for three hours every two days. Therefore most of the chargers we will install are slow (suitably designed and rated outdoor 13amp sockets) which will meet the charging needs of the majority of our colleagues.

We’ll also be working with the landlords of the sites we lease from third parties to make EV charging available there.

Going forward we will continue to review our charging needs as the numbers of company and private EVs at our sites increase.

Are you thinking of buying an EV for private or business use? Find out more with our helpful guide to low carbon technologies.

Our carbon neutral depots

Electricity for our operational substations and most of our offices and depots is 100% renewable and is generated locally at Walney Wind Farm, off the coast of Cumbria, saving 5,492 tCO₂e per year.

But our aim is to achieve ‘net zero carbon’ by transforming our estate to be as energy efficient as possible, and to install onsite generation to meet most of our own energy demand.

Starting with two zero carbon exemplar depots in 2020, our training academy in Blackburn and our depot in Oldham, we will test and demonstrate a number of solutions to assess their suitability and relative benefits which will help other businesses in the North West understand what is achievable.

These include ground-mounted solar panels; car port solar panels; wind turbines; upgraded insulation, windows and ventilation; air source or ground source heat pumps; new radiators and LED lighting.

The cost to implement the various initiatives at the two sites is £1.1 million, saving £41,000 per annum in energy bills (based on today’s prices) and 82 tCO₂e. 

Over 25 years, we can demonstrate a 28% return on investment which incorporates a carbon saving of £271,000, using the BEIS value of CO₂ equivalent.

For more details, please download our case study factsheet below.

Case study factsheet