Thursday 21 January 2021

How Utility Team and Clearworld are helping Blackpool Football Club start their net zero journey

How Utility Team and Clearworld are helping Blackpool Football Club start their net zero journey

When we became Blackpool Football Club shirt sponsors back at the start of the 2020/21 season, we did so with the commitment that we would help them drive down their energy spend, develop a robust energy reduction strategy, future proof their stadium and help them become a net zero sports organisation. After securing a six-figure reduction in their energy spend we then began the process of developing their energy reduction strategy.

Developing a robust energy reduction strategy

As with all our customers, the process begins with the question ‘What do you want to achieve?’. Blackpool’s Stadium Manager, Glynn Makin, was clear on his aspirations, not only did he want to optimise the future performance of the stadium but also make the stadium net zero. Following an initial scoping meeting, we booked in a full site audit with our partners Clearworld. The goal of this audit was to create a holistic view of the current performance of the estate and to identify energy reduction opportunities.

Understanding the current situation

Before we visited the site, this first step of the audit was a comprehensive review of the previous two years of consumption data. This included pre and during COVID consumption data. This review allowed us to map out and analyse consumption trends. Once this review was completed, we then visited the site to carry out a full site audit.

Over the course of several days onsite, both our team of energy consultants and Clearworld’s team of energy efficiency experts carried out a full review of the site. This included:

  • A review of the Building Management System, detailing its operational use
  • Carried out a full lighting survey
  • Reviewed the HVAC systems and their efficiencies
  • Investigated the current metering set up across the site
  • Inspected current onsite renewable technology

Creating a carbon emissions reduction roadmap

Once the energy audit had been completed, we then worked with Clearworld to identify how reductions could be made. We used four key questions to identify opportunities:

  1. How can we use monitoring and control functions better?
  2. How can we optimise current energy systems?
  3. Are there areas where retrofitting could create optimised performance?
  4. Is there the potential for the site to generate its own energy?

Using this framework, we were able to identify a number of ways that the site could be optimised to drive down both energy usage and carbon emissions. These included:

  1. The installation of new LED lights to reduce energy consumption and ongoing maintenance costs.
  2. The installation of new lighting controls across the stadium to minimise the lighting of areas not being used, thus reducing energy wastage.
  3. Upgrading the Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) Building Management System Controls to optimise performance and minimise energy wastage.
  4. Integrating all HVAC systems with the Building Management System to give the club greater control and visibility of energy consumption.
  5. Integration of existing metering and introduction of new metering into the Building Management System to give greater control and visibility of energy consumption

After identifying all possible energy reduction options, we then set about determining the monetary and carbon emission savings they would deliver. Once these had been determined we were able to create a carbon reduction road map. This road map included the return on investment for each option. Doing this gave Blackpool a clear picture of the payback on the whole process.


By carrying out a detailed energy audit and developing a bespoke energy reduction strategy we have identified the following:

  • A 29% reduction in annual electricity usage
  • An 18% reduction in annual gas usage
  • An annual energy saving of over £113,000
  • A reduction in carbon emissions of 276 tonnes of CO2 per year, this is equivalent to the electricity used every year by 46 homes in Blackpool

Glynn Makin, Stadium Operations & Site Manager for Blackpool Football Club said “Since coming on board, Utility Team, have delivered a proactive approach in terms of energy reduction and sustainability initiatives with their partner Clearworld.

"They have provided energy saving, LED lighting and water-saving proposals to the club’s management team. The proposals included a full breakdown of the projects and costs, outlining the Return on Investments, which enables the club’s management and ultimately the owner to make informed decisions.

"These initiatives are high on the agenda as we look to make Blackpool Football Club as energy efficient as possible. We believe that, ultimately, these initiatives will save energy and money, but also transform the club into a net zero and sustainable business.”

To find out more about our commitment to net zero and our net zero services please visit, email or call Toby Costar on 07731 969118

Written by

Bruna Pinhoni

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