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Rexel ‘walks the energy solutions talk’  | PV Solar Project working in tandem with LED and EV Charging


  • Rexel UK Ltd

End Market/ Industry Sector

  • Commercial

Financial Impact

  • A finance option for the PV solar installation allowed a positive impact on the P&L in the first quarter.
  • Lighting project – payback in 2.4 years and reduction of 88% in lighting costs


  • 200kWp solar PV system
  • 14W T5 luminaires with built-in presence and daylight detection
  • 2 x Electric vehicle chargers

Environmental Impact

  • Luminaire project – CO2 reduction of 14.2 tonnes per annum

Rexel’s distribution centre and offices in Dagenham, Essex enter an exciting new chapter with energy efficiency upgrades that work together to achieve energy and cost savings and reduce their carbon emissions

The Challenge

The buildings consisted of large warehousing and office space, and were in need of updating in terms of energy solutions. As a global leader in energy efficiency, Rexel was keen to ‘walk the talk’ and utilise its expertise to install products that would save energy and costs and also work successfully in conjunction with each other. It would first be necessary to really understand energy usage on the premises, and engage with employees and decision-makers to make the project a reality.

‘It is often difficult to really engage with employees and even decision-makers on the subject of energy saving, but the detailed analysis of how we used our energy really struck a chord. The PV installation was a clear physical manifestation of Rexel’s global commitment to a sustainable future, and it clearly pointed the way to further improvements. I look forward to using further technologies to demonstrate to other businesses how they are really working for us, can dovetail together, are scalable, and can be easily replicated in their premises.’

Michael Fereday
Customer Solutions Manager, Rexel UK

The Project

The logical step of energy monitoring was taken to pinpoint where energy was being used and more importantly wasted, and this information when shared with the employees resulted in instant behavioural changes. Simple monitoring and measurement helped identify areas where firstly changes could be made that would cost little or nothing to initiate. For example, it was discovered within the business that vending machines were being left on overnight, and a simple behavioural change extrapolated across 400 branches could equate to a potential £96,000 annual saving on fuel bills.

The Solution

The first focus area was opening up the potential of the 168m long south-facing roof, which lent itself ideally to a 200kWp PV solar installation. Once the PV system was generating free power for the building, it made sense to fully utilise it, and as Rexel was adding electric vehicles to its fleet of company cars, two EV charging points were installed for convenient on-site charging. Fluorescent luminaires with built-in presence and daylight detection were selected for the offices. The advantages of the chosen fittings were that no additional wiring was required for the grouped operation or new emergency lighting, and centralized reporting to mobile devices of both occupancy and failures provided ease of management of the system.

The Results

The lighting upgrade resulted in an annual energy saving of 88% with a payback of only 2.4 years, and a CO2 reduction of 14.2 tonnes per annum. The solar installation showed a positive effect on the P&L thanks to uptake of a finance option. The EV chargers are powered by the solar installation and just 1kW of power needs to be generated by the system for approximately 5 miles of travel.