St Catherine’s Community Centre in Crook, County Durham is host to hundreds of users a year. It has classes for dog training, line dancing, fitness, crafting, food hygiene as well as movie nights, soup kitchens and a weekly market.

In recent times its been refurbished and this major redevelopment was a catalyst for the improvement to the services they can provide. The Business Energy Efficiency Project (BEEP) was approached to carry out an energy audit to help identify areas where improvements could be made specifically around lighting and heating the centre.

With support from BEEP, a 20-year-old heating system was replaced by a new and more energy efficient model.  The old system was not only using a whopping 50,000kWh of gas each year, it was also not heating the centre efficiently.

With the new boiler installed, the centre is expected to see a reduction of 28,000kWh per year along with a financial saving of around £800.00 per year along with reducing their carbon emissions by 4.5 tonnes.

Users of the centre have already noticed a difference, commenting on how much faster the building warms up.   Committee member Martin Aldworth said, “You can notice the difference as soon as you walk through the front door – previously it wasn’t always obvious if the heating was on – but it is now!”

The centre has also replaced the fluorescent lighting for LED fittings in the main hall, which are brighter, more efficient, and longer lasting. It is looking to replace the rest of the buildings lighting sometime this year.

If you live in the area and are interested in visiting the centre’s cosy café or taking a class, contact them on their Facebook page or check out durhamlocate for more information.

Apply for your BEEP energy audit here.