Our energy use

How DVLA works to monitor and reduce energy consumption, costs and carbon emissions.

We have 3 sites around Swansea which use around 33 gigawatt hours of gas and 13.5 gigawatt hours of electricity each year. Most of the consumption comes from our main site, where around 5,000 people work and our large printing facilities are based.

Part of our electricity requirement is produced by 2 Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plants. We capture the excess heat generated and use it to heat and cool as required - making most efficient use of the energy produced. Using the CHP plants helps us reduce our reliance on the grid and therefore reduces our carbon emissions from electricity consumption.

The energy we use in our business travel also forms part of our carbon reduction strategy, currently we travel around 0.7 million business miles (1.12 million kilometres) each year.

How we’re doing this

We use half-hourly meters to monitor our energy use across the sites. We register these online and our energy team regularly analyses the information as part of our private finance initiative contract. Energy performance of the whole estate is reviewed and reported monthly.

We finished our major overhaul of the estate in 2010, ensuring that any new builds or refurbishments met with BRE Environmental Assessment Method for sustainable buildings ‘good’ or ‘excellent’ standards.

Since 2001 we have kept our accreditation to ISO 14001. To maintain our compliance we review our operations to find more energy-efficient ways of working.

Other recent, ongoing and proposed energy management initiatives include:

  • centralisation of operations
  • ensuring efficient management of our data centres
  • reviewing our ‘greening IT’ strategy
  • using a building energy management solutions with optimisation controls
  • using automatic meter readers and set alarms to identify unnecessary energy use
  • upgrading of lighting to LEDs

As a government agency, we are committed to fulfilling the Greening Government Commitments. As part of the commitment we have:

  • changed to using lower carbon emission vehicles when we cannot avoid travelling
  • committed to change the default mode of travel from road to rail
  • communicated with staff and contractors about our environmental policy and performance
  • ensured that the goods and services we buy support our environmental objectives, and follow the government buying standards for procurement
  • encouraged our suppliers and contractors to improve their own environmental performance
  • provided training, advice and information for our staff

Beyond energy use

Since the start of the Greening and Government Commitments in 2009 we have:

  • reduced our greenhouse gas emissions by 28%, saving 5,000 tonnes of carbon
  • cut business travel emissions by 78%
  • produced 48% less waste, and reduced waste to landfill to less than 5%
  • reduced administrative paper waste by 62%
  • reduced mains water use by 8%