County Durham accountancy firm, GD O’Hehir, has recently relocated to smart new offices based out of the old Durham County Council Day Centre on Barnfield Road in Spennymoor.
They have refurbished the building and it now accommodates both the accountancy practice and O’Hehir Irish Dancing School, run by Katrina O’Hehir.
A BEEP (Business Energy Efficiency Project) energy efficient audit was carried out looking at both the premises itself, and activities planned to be carried out within it. Many of the rooms have been configured as offices, but the main hall is used for the dancing school.
There were originally three very old gas boilers situated in the building, which were deemed to be only about 42% efficient, and these have been replaced with two combi boilers, operating at about 92% efficiency. Additionally, all the lighting in the building has been upgraded to LEDs, which are at least 60% more efficient, and these have been supplemented in some areas by movement sensors, to ensure the lighting is only on when needed.
The savings identified by BEEP have helped the building reduce carbon emissions by 39 tonnes CO2e a year.
Bringing older buildings back to usage is often challenging enough but the work started shortly before the pandemic and has therefore taken much longer than originally planned. However, the staff are delighted with their new offices and owner, Paul O’Hehir said ‘We knew we wanted the building to be energy efficient, but we were not sure where to start. BEEP helped us identify the biggest energy savings, which will help keep our ongoing costs down as much as possible – and particularly relevant at this time of accelerating energy price rises.”
The Business Energy Efficiency Project is funded by the European Regional Development Fund and Durham County Council. It runs until the end of March 2023 and provides eligible SMEs in County Durham with a fully funded energy efficiency audit, written report and grants to help part fund energy efficiency capital expenditure.