Student Accommodation

UK’s largest lighting order close to £1m

Energy efficient lighting saves student accommodation company £250,000 per year.

Avenue Capital, a student housing company that owns a £400m UK portfolio, is saving nearly £250,000 every year and slashing electricity consumption by almost two-thirds thanks to energy efficient LED lighting installed by Lighting Electricians Limited.

After consulting an energy management company, Avenue Capital approached Lighting Electricians to test, check and monitor ageing lighting systems at six sites spread across Nottingham, Sheffield and Leicester.

The sites can accommodate up to 5,000 students from various universities and other educational institutions. They must be effectively and efficiently lit to ensure students are safe and comfortable as well as keep utility costs to a minimum.

Lighting Electricians Ltd worked over a two-month period to monitor existing lighting, its energy consumption and cost across all six sites of student accommodation belonging to Avenue Capital.

Lighting Electricians found that the 15 year old lighting was in poor condition and expensive to run, with total energy bills for the six sites equating to £17,897 per month.

Lighting Electricians calculated that by upgrading the lighting to energy efficient LED, Avenue Capital could slash its electricity consumption by almost two thirds.

The total price of the new LED lighting system recommended by Lighting Electricians meant that the payback period was just over 67 months. After that, the savings achieved would significantly improve Avenue Capitals profitability and free up funds to invest in other areas of the business.

“When we realised the amount of money we could save it really was a no-brainer” said Nick Sweeney, Asset Manager at Avenue Capital. “As a business we need to run as economically as possible, while maintaining high standards of student accommodation across all our sites. Upgrading the lighting to energy efficient LED meant we could slash our electricity consumption and reduce our carbon footprint.”

Lighting Electricians installed 23,000 LED fittings in bedrooms, kitchens, lounges, corridors, lobbies and stairwells across the six sites over a nine-month period, removing and recycling all the old fittings.

Motion sensors in the lobbies and corridors activate lighting in these areas only when needed, reducing the operation time by 95 per cent. Lighting Electricians also installed an emergency lighting system in case there is a power failure.

The new LED lighting is maintenance free (i.e. no changing bulbs) and guaranteed for five years, amplifying the savings made.

The accommodation buildings were occupied, so the team worked around the students to respect their privacy and property, and kept the jobs clean and tidy for safety reasons.

Lighting Electricians unboxed and assembled all the new LED fittings at its factory in Peterborough, before transporting them pre-built to site where they could be fitted quickly and efficiently with minimal disruption.

The LED upgrade has also increased the value of Avenue Capital assets. The previous lighting was inadequate and unattractive, which reflected poorly on the student accommodation buildings.

Nick Sweeney continued “Lighting Electricians incorporated all the new LED fittings into the ceilings. They emit a bright ‘cool white’ glow, which dramatically changes the look and feel of the rooms. This modern, contemporary appearance is extremely attractive, increasing the value of our buildings, and will help us sell the accommodation to prospective students.”

By upgrading to LED lighting and increasing the value of its accommodation buildings, Avenue Capital can also charge more rent, increasing its revenue and profits.


LED lighting in the student accommodation sector

LED lighting has fallen in price in recent years and is now the economical choice in almost any application. This means it can help student accommodation companies and universities provide safe, attractive, comfortable lodgings that are cost efficient to operate and environmentally friendly.

This is important because universities openly compete for students and funds. Those lacking quality accommodation risk deterring potential students.

LED lighting’s lower energy consumption also means that it can help universities owning student accommodation directly meet the 2020 target set by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) to reduce carbon emissions by 43 per cent.

Many LED lighting contractors offer interest free funding, where companies pay through energy savings made over an agreed period of time. There is no upfront cost or capital deposit required.

For more information contact Lighting Electricians on 01733 328328 or visit