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Low energy IT innovator wins national award

Lancashire firm Extreme Low Energy has won a major award from the Energy Institute for its innovative low energy ICT infrastructure, which has slashed energy use at schools in the region.

Lancashire firm Extreme Low Energy has won a major award from the Energy Institute for its innovative low energy ICT infrastructure, which has slashed energy use at schools in the region. 

The 2017 Energy Institute Innovation Award is the latest in a string of honours for the company, which has recently moved to new headquarters in Skelmersdale.

Unlike standard ICT infrastructure, Extreme Low Energy’s systems are powered directly by low voltage DC power without the need for each device to convert power from AC.

Direct power

The company’s DC-only independent micro-grids use electricity generated on-site by solar panels, while computers run on a single ethernet cable that delivers both power and data - meaning that there is no need for an AC/DC inverter on each computer or a fan to take away excess heat. 

The infrastructure has been installed at two primary schools in Merseyside, as well as Lancaster University - where it has delivered energy savings of up to 80 per cent.

Mark Buchanan, founder and owner of Extreme Low Energy, said: “We’re delighted and proud to have received this significant award for innovation and recognition from the Energy Institute, having beaten strong competition from the UK, Canada and the Middle East.

Regional impact

“Our project related to reducing energy consumption for ICT in schools, delivering a simplified, more manageable, ICT suite and offering new learning and teaching opportunities alongside a richer digital experience.

“ICT infrastructures are already responsible for a significant proportion of electricity consumed, typically around 25 per cent of an organisation’s energy usage, so we looked to develop a solution to help schools address these challenges whilst fulfilling the increasing technological demands of the curriculum.”