During spring, we held our fourth START2ACT energy saving competition - the START2ACT Spring Challenge. This competition asked small businesses to show us how they reduce their artificial lighting use, maximising natural daylight as the days grew longer and the sun began to brighten up our offices!
The judging period has now closed and we can reveal that the winner is Tŷ Newydd Writing Centre Wales, run by Literature Wales. Tŷ Newydd showed us on Twitter how they reduce the need for artificial lighting by rearranging the office furniture and removing unnecessary lamps. Both of these were no cost opportunities with immediate savings – showing that every organisation can save energy even without investing capital.
We got in touch with Leusa Llewelyn, the Head of Tŷ Newydd to find out what motivated them to enter the Spring Challenge:
How did you hear about the START2ACT Spring Challenge?
“I was lucky enough to take part in a START2ACT webinar called Greening Your Small Business, as I was interested in learning more about how to lessen the impact of our business on the environment. The webinar gave me many tips on small things that could in the end make a big difference – both to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and save on energy bills. After the webinar I went to change the hot water temperature from 80 to 60 degrees, submitted our entry to the Spring Challenge and scheduled a chat with a Carbon Trust START2ACT Advisor.”
How did you think of your energy-saving solutions?
“We are lucky to work in a beautiful, old building in north Wales – Tŷ Newydd. Although our biggest and proudest asset, its age and listed status makes it a difficult building to save energy and be green. We still have grand original light fittings, and whilst very beautiful – they have too many bulbs. We decided to exchange most of the bulbs to LED ones where possible, and remove half of the bulbs from multiple-bulb fittings.
“One great feature gracing the old house is our large sash windows, ensuring that most rooms have plenty of natural light. Starting to think more about the environment, we turned our desks so that the natural light came in behind us – lighting up the workstations.”
What motivates you to save energy at work?
“Representing the literature sector in Wales, we work hard to be as friendly as possible to the environment. We feel privileged to work in such a special part of the world – within a small distance of both Snowdonia National Park and the Llŷn Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty - so it’s both our responsibility and honour to respect the area we are in. As a charity, we also have to look at cutting down on administration costs often – so reducing energy costs whilst helping the planet is an extra bonus. To further our impact in this field, we have been organising a ‘Writing About Climate Change’ course as part of the annual programme for three years.”
What are your plans for the future?
“During a recent training session with a START2ACT Advisor, we decided to create an Environmental Statement for the Centre as the next step. When this is ready, we will display it on the wall and include it in every guest’s information pack.
“We look forward to working further with the Carbon Trust and START2ACT to change more of our operations for the better.”
Tŷ Newydd will receive an Alexa-enabled Amazon Echo for its winning entry to the START2ACT Spring Challenge. Thank you to everyone who participated in the competition and to those who spread the word. We hope you all enjoyed the challenge!
Tŷ Newydd has also signed up to receive one-to-one bespoke energy saving advice from a START2ACT Advisor. If you would like to receive this free support too, contact your local START2ACT provider here.
If you’re interested in energy saving but you’re not sure where to start, visit our Knowledge Base for top tips, complete the E-learning modules or post a question on the START2ACT forum.