Northumbrian Water Authority

Northumbrian Water Optimises Efficiency at Durham Facility with Dextra Lighting’s LED Solutions

Northumberland Water Limited invests in high-quality LED lighting to improve working conditions for its staff at its vehicle repair centre in Durham. The upgrade has slashed C02 emissions, energy and maintenance costs for the water supplier, allowing it to keep on track with its sustainability ambitions whilst keeping water affordable for all.


Northumberland Water Limited (NWL) is the main regulated water supply and sewerage company in the North-East of England. It currently employs 3000 staff and supplies 1.1 billion litres of water to 4.4 million people.

As winners of the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the category of sustainable development, NWL is the only water company in the UK to use 100% of its sewage sludge to create energy and uses extensive solar panel systems, offshore wind plants and hydro plants to power all its 1858 sites.

The highly acclaimed company was named the UK′s most trusted water company by its customers and in 2017 it was recognised as the world′s most ethical water company for the seventh successive year and Utility of the Year at the Utility Week Awards, for the second time in four years.

To fulfil their vision has been to become the national leader in sustainable water and waste water services, the company has continually invested in its infrastructure and has implemented and developed a strong Health. Safety Environmental and Quality policy to ensure it stays on top of the competition whilst being ethical and responsible in every area of its operations.

The water supply and sewerage sector is highly regulated and closely tied to the environment and the well-being of its customers and staff alike. NWL’s industry leading aspiration as a result has involved protecting and enhancing the environment, ensuring their finances are sound so that bills are more affordable to all and eradicate water poverty by 2030, and ensure that the workplace is a safe and productive environment to work in.

High-quality and well-designed LED lighting solutions can have an immediate and positive impact on all these performance indicators by reducing operational costs through lower energy and maintenance costs whilst creating better lighting conditions to increase productivity and safety. Upgrading to a more energy-efficient system can bring financial benefits through the Enhanced Capital Allowance (ECA) scheme which offers a 100% tax levy for the first year of purchase alongside improving its performance on the Carbon Reduction Commitment league table for further tax reductions. Sustainability and profitability can therefore go hand in hand as LED’s return on investment is fast and far-reaching.

With the aim to improve the efficiency of its dedicated vehicle repair facility in Durham, long time partners, Park Electrical of Newcastle Upon Tyne, approached Dextra Lighting for another successful relighting project in the North-East.

NWL had all the assurances and advantages of working with a leading British manufacturer. As part of its commitment towards total service, Dextra Group’s vast manufacturing capabilities, dedicated transport fleet, extensive range of high-quality, precision-engineered products and highly experienced in-house design team, ensure that each installation meets the exact requirements for the project and is delivered on time and within budget.

With this infrastructure at its disposal, Dextra Group is able to be more reactive to customers needs and is able to coordinate deliveries faster and more cost-effectively compared to overseas competitors, whilst significantly reducing carbon miles. With 40 years of trading under its belt, and accreditations for International standards of Quality and Environmental Management, Dextra is well versed in the compliance and regulatory requirements of multiple sectors, informing its design decisions and product development for the benefit of its customers.


The old fluorescent lighting at NWL’s vehicle maintenance facility was seriously underperforming with fixtures not providing the recommended light levels evenly across the site and lamp failure and depreciation rates being high. Optics were deteriorating and not operating at full capacity whilst frequent lamp changes were causing high, yet avoidable, costs for the company as well as disruptions in the workplace.

Dextra Lighting were required to design, manufacture and deliver a new system fulfilling the following main objectives:

Improve working environment for staff with optimal task illumination: To solve the problem for visibility inside the facility, powerful LED luminaries were to be utilised to raise the lux levels, improve uniformity of coverage and provide higher colour rendition to allow staff to operate heavy machinery safely and accurately inspect fleet vehicles to make repairs. Compliance to all CIBSE recommended illumination levels for industrial areas and the performance of complex technical tasks in the workshop as well as British Standards for quality and safety was essential.

Reduce overheads: By using LED luminaries manufactured with the latest LM80-verified LED sources offering 90% lumen maintenance for the first 60,000 hours of operation, the new system would ensure energy savings of up to 70% as well as significant reduction in maintenance costs compared to the old fixtures. With long working days at the facility, introducing intelligent sensor control could also ensure luminaries only operate when and where needed for further ROIs.

Lower carbon emissions and improve green credentials: Being in a regulated industry, NWL needs to meet stringent efficiency targets. Lower energy consumption means lower CO2 emitted into the environment, allowing NWL to lead by example with a greener and more efficient facility.

Be cost-effective for improved ROIs: In addition to reduced energy and maintenance costs, the system was to be installed in a time and cost effective manner whilst using products eligible for tax relief.

Attractive warranty package: Dextra Group’s LED luminaries are offered with its comprehensive 5-year Warranty for additional peace of mind.