Sub-Metering Energy Efficiency Savings at Arndale Centre

24 May 2017
Sub-Metering Energy Efficiency Savings at Arndale Centre

Sub-Metering Energy Efficiency Savings at Arndale Centre

24 May 2017

Through the introduction of smart metering and monitoring by EP&T, M&G Real Estate and intu Properties plc have saved more than £1m in energy costs and over 6500 tonnes of carbon at Manchester Arndale Shopping Centre. 

Key Facts



Manchester Arndale is one of Europe’s largest city centre covered shopping complexes which is owned by M&G Real Estate and intu, and managed by CBRE. The maintenance team and engineers on site are from Integral.

Built in the 70’s, the building has undergone several extensions and renovations over the years. It was severely damaged during the 1996 IRA bombing in central Manchester and became one of the symbols of the city’s reconstruction in the following years. Due to the multiple extensions and redevelopments to the building, it has a technically complex structure and energy management has been notoriously difficult to oversee.

In September 2014, the owners introduced a new sub-metering system as part of its energy management strategy for Manchester Arndale shopping centre. Through a partnership with EP&T Global, the sub-metering system has already helped the management team at Manchester Arndale cut electricity use by 33% since its installation. As of February 2017, the 5-year programme is already well on track to save more than £1m in energy costs and over 6500 tonnes of carbon emissions.

Founded in Australia in 1993, EP&T Global provides environmental management systems in the form of sub-metering to unlock significant efficiency savings. Their aim is to bring technology, processes, and people together to identify where and how to focus efficiency efforts, and as a result, optimise existing practices to transform how buildings perform.


M&G Real Estate contracted EP&T to install their EDGE system, which consisted of 130 energy sub meters, and employ their MARS process, which analyses the data and makes improvement recommendations. This provides the centre team with early alerts about opportunities to optimise efficiency.

The system has been designed with the following objectives in mind:

  • Centre energy optimisation – energy savings of 13% on electricity and 5% on gas forecast
  • Ensure detailed energy & emission reporting
  • Target inefficiencies in plant running and common areas
  • Target BMS errors and encourage improved strategies
  • Provide continuity and focus on energy management across the centre
  • Improve facilities management and maintenance teams’ understanding of the site’s optimum operational profile
  • Ensure 100% data availability, accuracy, and resilience
  • Produce performance reporting and case studies for site stakeholders

Management and monitoring of the meters is done on a regular basis and the site team has regular site calls with the EP&T engineers based in Australia. The Australian-based team have visited the site in person so they know the location well and a small team of EP&T engineers is based in the UK.


  • Easy wins with the implementation of free and low-cost improvements, including cutting back on hours for equipment and lighting that aren’t needed 24/7 and aligning their run times to shopping hours
  • Easily fixing faults as common issues are quickly spotted and rectified
  • Better retailer engagement through awareness raising of efficiency measures and highlighting opportunities for retailers to reduce energy, water and waste in-store
  • 5-year continuous energy improvement, rather than a one-off energy audit
  • The 5-year programme is guaranteed to save 11,852,130 kWh in electricity and gas as well as over 6500 tonnes of carbon emissions

Manchester Arndale has been recognised within the shopping centre industry for its sustainability and energy management credentials. In 2015, it won several key sector awards; the Sceptre award for Energy Management and the Green Apple award for Sustainability.

In 2015 M&G Real Estate also won the CIBSE Building Performance award for energy management for its UK portfolio of shopping centres, of which the improvements at Manchester Arndale played a big part. At the same ceremony, M&G Real Estate was awarded the overall Carbon Champion Award 2015.


  • Payback of installation under three years
  • The 5-year programme was guaranteed to deliver a saving in energy costs of £758,021. This target has been achieved more than 1 year ahead of schedule. EP&T is mandated to pay the difference if savings are not achieved to the level stated in the contract
  • 25% of the system was paid through the service charge and the remainder was paid for by the landlord.

Following the success of this initiative, M&G Real Estate had the EP&T system installed in the Galleries shopping centre in Washington in December 2015 and is currently having it installed in the Holborn Bars office development in central London.

Challenges and Achievements




How to get the facilities management team on board?


Although initially hesitant to embrace a new metering system, the awareness strategy and training given to the on-site team, has proven effective. The CBRE on-site management team as well as the facilities team now appreciate the benefit of the system, allowing them to quickly flag anomalies in energy consumption. 





How to get internal approval for funding?


It took approximately a year to secure funding for the project, with approximately 75% being funded by the joint owners, and a quarter being paid through the service charge. The service charge contribution was funded by maintaining the previous energy costs within the service charge and recouping the difference from the initial energy savings. Once the 25% of the installation costs has been recouped through the initial energy savings, the reduced energy costs will be reflected in the service charge through lower costs, benefitting the occupiers of the building as well as the environment. 

Find out more

Nina Reid

Director, Responsible Property Investment

M&G Real Estate

T: +44 (0)20 7548 6609

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