2015 Ashden UK Award winners

Clever use of natural light helps reduce energy bills and makes for a nicer working environment

Max Fordham

UK Gold Award and Ashden Award for Sustainable Buildings, supported by the Garfield Weston Foundation

Max Fordham has spent nearly 50 years developing sustainable building services, working closely with architects to create beautiful buildings with the highest standards of energy efficiency. The results are impressive: clients are able to cut their carbon emissions by up to 50% through increasing natural light and ventilation and installing energy-efficient equipment and insulation. The company has also pushed the concept of ‘soft landings’, working closely with occupants to make sure their new buildings work as efficiently as possible, and helping tackle what’s often a huge gap between the way buildings are designed and how they are actually used.

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The chiller system on the roof of One New Change, London

Demand Logic

Impax Ashden Award for Energy Innovation

Mining the information generated by most building management systems (BMS) found in large commercial buildings is usually like looking for a needle in a haystack. Many businesses waste huge opportunities to save energy and money. But Demand Logic has created a cloud-based system that plugs into the BMS and quickly identifies what it describes as ‘energy insanities’, like rooms being heated and cooled at the same time, or faulty equipment. Demand Logic then works with the building management team to develop a plan to fix them. This can generate huge savings: one of Demand Logic’s clients, Kings College in London, has cut an estimated £390,000 off its annual energy bill.

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Some 8.400 people have benefited from SHINE’s work so far

London Borough of Islington: SHINE

Ashden Award for Reducing Fuel Poverty, supported by the Coutts Foundation

Living in a cold, damp home makes respiratory illnesses and many other chronic health conditions worse. The London Borough of Islington’s Seasonal Health Intervention Network (SHINE) links up 86 local organisations in an integrated approach to tackling fuel poverty and improving the wellbeing of its most vulnerable residents. Member organisations, from GP surgeries and health visitors to housing and community organisations, refer vulnerable people to the SHINE team. The team then steps in with advice on fuel debt and energy efficiency, as well as helping residents access discounts on fuel bills and grants for new boilers. With residents saving an average of £200 each on annual fuel bills, SHINE is also easing the pressure on local health budgets

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Micro hydro is bringing a new source of income for Wales’ hill farmers

TGV Hydro

Ashden Award for Community Energy, supported by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation

With an abundance of hills and streams, rural Wales is the ideal location for generating sustainable electricity from hydro power. But many potential sites are too small for the big hydropower developers to touch. TGV Hydro, wholly owned by The Green Valleys CIC, is filling this gap. It’s developing micro-hydro projects for private and community ownership across South Wales, working closely with the local authority to create a model of micro-hydro that could be replicated elsewhere. Local labour is used to build projects where possible, and TGV has helped a new manufacturer of hydro turbines to start up. The renewable electricity generated can be sold into the national grid, so farmers and communities can diversify their income

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