Smart building firm teams up with Virgin on energy consumption project

Welsh smart building solutions company enModus has teamed up with Virgin Media to help more than 250,000 homes reduce their energy consumption.

The firm, which is based in Chepstow, has installed its connected lighting solution at one of the telecom giant’s biggest technical facilities. In the past, Virgin relied on fluorescent lighting.

Since implementing the technology, Virgin claims it’s been saving 99 per cent of energy. It said this is enabled by “intelligently controlling the lighting levels”.

As well as this, there’s less heat emitted from the lighting, meaning that the technology company’s cooling systems run more effectively. Virgin said its emissions have decreased by 2,445kg per year.

It’s now using Thorn Aquaforce II LED units, which run from an enModus Node. This communicates with existing power cables and sends data to a cloud platform. 

According to enModus, the nodes can “communicate measured and sensed information in real-time to create highly accurate real-time energy measurement and allow light activation only when occupancy is detected”.

Andy Heaton, CEO and co-founder of enModus, said it is “a coup for a start-up to be chosen as a partner of a leading UK business like Virgin Media on such an important project.

He explained: “Energy efficiency improvements are at the top of the agenda for companies as they strive to not only reduce costs but improve their environmental impact and meet increasingly strict regulations on building efficiencies.

Alongside Virgin Media, enModus works with a range of other firms across the UK. They include retail supply-chain business Catalyst and Volvo-owned manufacturer Terex Trucks.

Heaton added: “The project with Virgin Media is an example of how our powerline-based control solution – Wattwave – is gaining traction.  

“As well as saving money and reducing CO2, companies can deploy our solution without the need for expensive refits as it uses existing cabling infrastructure. Smart lighting is just one application.

“Once installed, we enable a building-wide communications network that can deliver other benefits including detailed intelligence on building occupancy and ultimately control over other electrically-connected assets and electrical circuits.”

Image credit: Jeff Djevdet