A leading provider and manager of student accommodation has embarked on a £21m investment in energy-efficient lighting.
Unite Students, which has three locations in Huddersfield – Snow Island and Saw Mill at King’s Mill Lane and Firth Point at Firth Street – has partnered lighting company Philips to install energy efficient light-emitting diode (LED) lighting throughout its properties over the next two years.
Unite Students, which provides accommodation for 41,000 students in more than 120 properties UK-wide, is putting £9.6m into the initiative with the rest funded by its co-investment partners.
The company said it was making the investment to improve the physical space within its properties so that students feel more at home, to increase the energy efficiency of its buildings and to reduce the running cost of its portfolio.
The firm expects to see payback within five years and the resulting cost savings and service efficiencies will allow Unite Students to make service improvements such as free cleaning and longer reception hours at no additional cost.
The move is expected to reduce energy consumption by about 10% to 15% a year and reduce lighting-related maintenance activity.
It will mean annual carbon savings of about 2,000 tonnes of CO2 a year – equivalent to the total annual emissions of 400 typical UK households. This will reduce Unite’s overall carbon footprint by about 3.5%.
More than 300,000 new light fittings and 85,000 sensors and dimmers will be installed in corridors, kitchens, lounges, common rooms and reception spaces as well as outdoor areas. The upgrade will provide high quality lighting for staff and students to create a better working and living environment.
Installing dimmer switches and colour change lamp in every bedroom will also allow students to personalise their lighting to suit study, relaxation or socialising.