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LED high bay lighting with sensors slashes Scottish warehouse’s annual energy costs by over £16,000

With help from our advisers and the Scottish Government’s unsecured and interest-free SME Loan, BookSource capitalised on the latest lighting technology to substantially reduce its annual energy bill and carbon footprint.

Lighting technology has progressed rapidly in recent years. New, energy efficient lighting and advanced lighting controls offer businesses a huge opportunity to reduce their carbon footprint and energy bills.

Scottish business, BookSource, is a great example of how businesses can capitalise on the latest technology.

BookSource is one of the UK’s fastest–growing distributors of books and other printed material. At its 44,000 square feet warehouse and distribution centre in Cambuslang just outside Glasgow, the business holds 4 million books. These are distributed to shops, wholesalers, online retailers, supermarkets and private individuals all over the world.

Owned by Publishing Scotland – the network, trade and development body for the book publishing sector in Scotland – the team at BookSource was keen to look at how the company could reduce its environmental impact and cut costs by becoming more resource efficient.

Like most SMEs, BookSource doesn’t have a dedicated energy or environmental manager, so Managing Director, Davinder Bedi, contacted our team for free and impartial advice.

Our adviser responded quickly to the request and visited the Cambuslang site to assess the premises and its processes. Following the visit, our adviser provided a detailed report highlighting several actions the business could take to become more resource efficient, cut costs and reduce its environmental impact.

One key opportunity that was identified was to improve the warehouse lighting. The site’s high bay racked warehouse requires lighting in passageways to allow staff to safely access and select books to fulfil orders as required.

Our adviser recommended repositioning lighting in the warehouse to take better advantage of existing daylight ceiling panels. The adviser also recommended upgrading the 400-watt metal halide lamps to LEDs with daylight and passive infrared sensor controls. The sensors would enable lighting to be used only when and where it is required, instead of having all the lights in the warehouse switched on all day.

Our report detailed how an investment of £24,500 in the warehouse lighting would cut annual energy bills by over £16,000, providing a return on investment in just 1.5 years. The report also highlighted that annual lighting maintenance costs, which were running at around £2,800, would also be greatly reduced after the upgrade given the far greater life of LEDs.

Further lighting improvements were also recommended for other areas of the site. This included upgrading the office area, entrance foyer, toilets, stairwell and kitchen to LEDs. With an investment of £11,405 and an annual energy saving of around £1,720, these improvements would pay back in 6.5 years. Our advisor’s report also recommended replacing external floodlights with LEDs. The investment of £1,320 calculated to do this would cut bills by an estimated £1,008 a year, providing a rapid pay back of just over 1 year.

With our ongoing support and the interest-free SME Loan, BookSource has been able to make all of these lighting improvements and is now enjoying a substantially reduced annual energy bill and carbon footprint.

You can watch this short video for a glimpse of how BookSource’s new lighting works, and to hear how effective it has been in cutting costs and improving the working environment.


Beyond lighting, our report also highlighted an opportunity to install solar photovoltaic (PV) panels at the site. With an estimated installation cost of around £20,000, solar PV could provide a further saving of £2,000 on energy costs each year. Electricity generating renewables such as solar PV are eligible also for the Scottish Government’s SME Loan Scheme. BookSource is now considering solar PV as the next step on its resource efficiency journey.

‘Working with the service was very easy indeed… I cannot recommend them enough. In fact, I have done many times already.’ Davinder Bedi, Managing Director, BookSource.


Help for your business

Business Energy Scotland is funded by the Scottish Government to provide free, impartial support and access to funding to help small and medium-sized enterprises save energy, carbon and money.

Whether you are just starting out on your energy-saving journey and need some pointers or are looking for expertise and funding to support your current plans, our team of experienced business advisors and energy-saving consultants are here to help. Get in touch today.

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