Formby United Reformed Church is located in the North West of England, in Formby, between Liverpool and Southport. Established back in 1881, the church’s premises have undergone multiple transformations over the years. The current Church Building was finished in 1938 and a suite of halls was added in 1972.
The church site comprises the main church building, used for religious services, and a large hall with 5 side-rooms, used by various church organisations and external activity groups. Around 50 worshippers attend church services every Sunday, while occupancy during the week varies significantly.
Formby URC uses two different heating systems. The main hall and side rooms are heated using a conventional gas-fired boiler and radiators, while the church sanctuary uses gas-powered fan heaters, accompanied by overhead infrared electric heaters.
“Before HeatingSave, we used 7-day time clocks to control the heating systems. That was highly inefficient, because the halls needed to be heated for different groups, at different times. Some of the groups met fortnightly or monthly and the heating was on for a long periods when no-one was using the church, so we were wasting a lot of energy and money. To get around this, we had to manually adjust the clock all the time, which was not exactly an ideal situation for us.” Jim Crawford, Treasurer and Facilities Manager at the Formby United Reformed Church, told the HeatingSave reporter.
Most time clocks cannot vary the times throughout the week, wasting fuel at weekends, when offices, rooms or buildings are often unoccupied. Even a 7 day clock cannot cater for Bank Holidays, Holidays, shut downs or periods when the building is empty.
With HeatingSave you can set room temperatures to suit your specific requirements, giving you 100% control of the heating to meet your needs in summer, winter or throughout the year. You can even superimpose your pattern of building usage onto the heating/cooling patterns to perfectly match so that the energy usage is minimized. This normally means the building will be warm in the morning when people first arrive and then slightly cooler during the day when everyone is working.
“We started looking for a better control system in April 2014” said Jim, “I did a fair bit of research online and came across the HeatingSave website. The technical information provided there seemed to indicate that the HeatingSave Building Energy Management System was just what we needed.” he told the HeatingSave reporter.
I have also read through your testimonials, especially the one provided by the Corstorphine St Ninian’s church in Scotland, and decided to contact you for a presentation. Your representatives, especially one of your directors, were very helpful in explaining the benefits of HeatingSave and customizing the system to meet our specific requirements.
Our Fabric Committee were not that easily convinced, but in the end they saw the clear advantages in terms of heating control and energy expenditure that the Building Energy Management System would be able to deliver. They were also keen to adopt a green energy policy.
We used legacy funds to finance the costs of the installation, and this is the avenue I strongly recommend for any church or place of worship interested in deploying HeatingSave as the pay-back period is too long for a normal business case, given that church energy costs are typically smaller than those of schools and businesses.”
The HeatingSave Building Energy Management System was installed in the second half of 2014 and the process was “relatively trouble free”, apart from a few minor issues related to the system’s setup, which rapidly sorted out with the help of the HeatingSave Help Desk and engineers.
The system consists of two web-enabled, Linux-based HeatingSave T3520-LN Building Energy Management System Controllers, accompanied by multiple temperature sensors. One of the two controllers includes Zigbee wireless technology (T3520-LNZ), which will enable the addition of Wireless Thermostatic Radiator Valves (TRVs) or other Zigbee devices (air quality sensors, PIRs, etc.).
Members of the Formby United Reformed Church Fabric Committee were trained on using HeatingSave. “Training was delivered by the engineer who installed the system. I and several others members of the committee took part in the training and the overall quality was very good.” Jim told the HeatingSave reporter.
“I managed to gain a much deeper understanding of HeatingSave by using it on a regular basis. I then used the HeatingSave User Manual to create a set of instructions customized for our system. In this way, I can make sure that the other members of the community will be able to use it to its full extent even when I’m away”, Jim added.
Due to the complex nature of the heating system in the church, Jim worked with HeatingSave experts to customize the system in order to optimize the way the area is heated. He explained: “The system has been set up in such a way as to have a 1 degree differential between the set point assigned to the fan heaters and the one assigned to the infrared heaters.
The gas fan heaters are controlled using the HeatingSave algorithm – they will start at exactly the right time to ensure that the correct temperature is reached by the time the event is scheduled to start.
However, the infrared electric heaters will only start up to 10 minutes before the time of the service and top-up the temperature if required. During a very cold Sunday, they might start again several times during the planned event (service) as well, but during a normal Sunday they won’t start at all.
By using HeatingSave to control the system, we make sure that the more expensive infrared heaters only work while they are actually needed, thus reducing the overall energy consumption, while in the same time maintaining a very good level of comfort for all the people inside the church” he concluded.
HeatingSave is the worlds 1st off-the-shelf Building Energy Management System and Monitoring (BEMAM) system that replaces your existing heating time-clock or BMS system to take control of and better manage and reduce your energy use. HeatingSave manages heating boiler(s), pumps, valves, immersion heaters, heat pumps and air conditioning units.
Asked what he likes most about the HeatingSave system, Jim promptly replied: “The main reason why we have chosen to install HeatingSave is that it delivers a high degree of flexibility in terms of heating control. By having better control over the heating systems, we are not only saving money, we also prevent the waste of energy and contribute to saving the environment.”
Since the HeatingSave system was installed at the Formby United Reformed Church, Jim has contacted the Help Desk line on a number of occasions. He provided very positive feedback on their activity: “I have had a good experience dealing with the help-desk staff. They are very flexible and able to work around my schedule.”
While very happy with the level of control delivered by the current system, Jim is considering adding a number of HeatSave Wireless TRVs to the radiators located in the church’s side rooms and creating several additional heating zones. The aim is to “extend the level of control and further reduce unnecessary heating”.
The HeatSave TRV wirelessly “talks” via a Zigbee network to the Zigbee-enabled HeatingSave controller allowing one to retro-fit HeatingSave to their existing heating system, zoning each room or area and drastically cutting your heating costs.
Would Formby United Reformed Church recommend HeatingSave to other churches and places of worship? “I would recommend the HeatingSave Building Energy Management System to all other churches who have an energy-saving agenda or simply want to attain a superior level of control over their heating system.” Jim told the HeatingSave reporter.
Summing up his experience of HeatingSave, Jim said: “HeatingSave was the only company to offer a product delivering such an extensive level of functionality at a very affordable price.”
The Coplow Centre, located in the village of Billesdon, is a multi-functional community facility in the heart of the Leicestershire countryside. With a large and adaptable main hall, a separate meeting room, a professional standard kitchen and parking for 50 cars, it is a great choice of setting for all kinds of gatherings – celebrations, sporting events, parties and theatre performances, as well as regular meetings for clubs and societies.
The Coplow Centre was designed to offer users the maximum flexibility with the best possible facilities for everyone. It comprises a spacious entrance hall with toilets and two changing rooms with showers, a large main hall with a raised stage and lighting for theatre and musical productions, a professional standard kitchen, ample storage and a lounge/bar area.
Mr. Simon Keast, Trustee of the Charity and Facilities Manager at The Coplow Centre, started looking for a Building Energy Management System in mid-2014, as a possible solution to mitigate their rising energy costs.
“The Coplow Centre records over 24,000 individual user visits each year. Each group of visitors, whether regular or one-offs, have their own, specific requirements in terms of the ambient temperature, and meeting those requirements can be very expensive” he told the HeatingSave reporter.
The Coplow Centre has an advanced heating system comprising a conventional gas-fired boiler and radiators, as well as a 35 KW ceiling-mounted radiant heater. A roof-mounted 30KW solar PV installation meets all of the Centre’s electricity requirements and exports the excess electricity to the national grid.
While the separate systems listed above have helped the centre reduce its energy bills, they lacked a central management and control solution that would streamline their functionality and make them work together in a concerted manner. This is where HeatingSave comes in.
“We’ve spent close to a year looking for a Building Energy Management System that would perfectly fit our specific requirements. Not until HeatingSave have we been able to find a system that was a perfect fit for the size of our building, could control our rather complex heating setup, and, last but certainly not least, delivered an exceptional value for money” said Simon.
The HeatingSave Building Energy Management System was commissioned in August 2015 and has a few special modifications designed to help The Coplow Centre make the most of their heating system.
First and foremost, the System includes the HeatingSave destratification fans, designed to overcome thermal stratification of the air in buildings with a roof apex of 5 metres or more. The fans work by mixing the air steadily, creating a uniform temperature throughout the space. The fan speed is determined by a mathematical algorithm that compares the temperature at the top of the space with that at floor level. This algorithm is further modified depending upon the outside temperature, as in summer users might want the fans to run on hot days although there might not be a stratified effect. Some simple user-friendly parameters allow the customers to trim the algorithm to suit their particular needs.
HeatingSave’s destratification fans will help the heating/cooling system maintain the same temperature set-point with less effort, resulting in significant energy savings, but also in an instantly noticeable improvement in thermal comfort. Destratification can reduce to between 1°c and 2°c (or less) the temperature differentials from floor to ceiling.
The HeatingSave Building Energy Management (BEMS) system at The Coplow Centre will also control the electricity output from the roof-mounted solar panel installation to minimize costs whenever there’s a surge in the level of electricity demand (for example, when the radiant heater is switched on). Plus, it fully manages the Centre’s air-conditioning units, thus being able to ensure that the desired setpoint temperature is always right, regardless of season and outside temperatures.
Although he is yet to compare yearly bills in order to find out just how much they’re saving, Simon is confident that HeatingSave will be able to drastically cut The Coplow Centre’s energy expenditure.
“Now that the system has been running for a while, fewer radiators are heating during normal working hours in order to achieve and maintain the desired temperatures. The same applies to our air-conditioning units. I am absolutely certain that overall energy usage has gone down since HeatingSave was installed” he said.
The Coplow Centre makes extensive use of occupancy sensors (PIRs) in order to reduce heating in unoccupied zones (variable occupancy is commonplace for community centres and other similar facilities).
Occupancy sensors allow HeatingSave to automatically turn the heating down to a background temperature when nobody is present but automatically turn it up when employees or visitors enter the area. All of this happens automatically without you having to do anything – whilst HeatingSave keeps visitors warm and saves money. Fuel savings for buildings with variable occupancy can be in excess of 20%.
Simon is very happy with the PIR’s current level of efficiency (“they’re very effective”) and believes that they play an important part in helping the centre cut its energy usage.
A multi-functional community facility such as The Coplow Centre has a very challenging set of heating requirements due to the varied nature of the activities taking place within. But the heating diary function within HeatingSave is the perfect solution to meet every customer group’s specific needs.
In Simon’s own words “You can’t have the same level of temperature set for an aerobics or yoga class and a book discussion club, just to give an example. However, HeatingSave’s diary function allows us to cater to our customers’ needs and requirements perfectly, providing the perfect ambiance on every occasion.”
The HeatingSave Building Energy Management System system enables users to use smart heating patterns to better manage heating and cooling equipment that they already have. The intelligent controller at the heart of the system “self learns” the heat-loss profile of any building so that it can switch on the heating later if it’s warm and also switch off earlier if it’s cold, whilst the occupancy algorithm only heats parts of the building when it’s occupied.
Asked what he liked most about HeatingSave, Simon replied: “The level of control over the Centre’s heating, hot water and solar power systems that HeatingSave can deliver. I also love the level of predictability it provides – I can rest assured that the temperature in a specific heating zone will reach the desired value just in time for the activity scheduled to take place in there.”
“I also like that HeatingSave is a reliable system, so I don’t have to worry about it on a daily basis. And obviously, being able to access it all remotely, whether on or off site, is another major plus” he added.
Simon also believes that the system is “very easy to use”.
The Coplow Centre have used the HeatingSave HelpDesk a couple of times and the service was “fine” on every occasion. A few minor technical glitches prompted a few visits from the HeatingSave Operations department engineers to the Centre and Simon described the quality of the service as “very good”.
When asked by the HeatingSave reporter whether he would recommend the system to other village halls, Simon’s answer was a firm and resounding “Yes”.
Summing up his experience of HeatingSave, Simon concluded: “The HeatingSave system is very efficient and easy to operate. And it also clearly saves money!”
The Coplow Centre
Uppingham Road, Billesdon
Phone: 0116 259 9377
Established in 2006, Sir Joseph Swan Centre for Energy Research (or SWAN centre) is a community of sustainability and energy researchers and academics across various disciplines that involves biofuels and biomass, fuel cells and hydrogen, PV and solar thermal and sensing and monitoring technologies. It coordinates research across traditional discipline boundaries aiming to make a lasting contribution to some of the main global research challenges in the field of sustainability.
One such challenge is to identify and demonstrate techniques that account for social and technical factors to radically reduce resource consumption, eliminate associated waste and mitigate pollution effects on whole ecosystems.
As part of their efforts to tackle this challenge, the SWAN centre has launched a research programme that involves the thermal comfort and energy monitoring of a high performance dwelling built to Passive House standard with the aim of enabling a comparative and optimisation study. The programme will enable the monitoring and compilation of real world data in order to quantify the benefits of increased fabric insulation properties and air-tightness in a moderate climate similar to that of British Isles.
The first test property is a two-storey detached single family house located in Durham, North East England. This is a new build timber construction (2014) that meets Passivhaus standards. The house comprises entrance hall, living room, dining room, kitchen, office room, utility room, family room, bathroom, three bedrooms and en-suite and features and advanced thermal design to passive house standards for the external wall, floor, roof, windows and doors. Heating, whole house ventilation, solar PV and rainwater harvesting systems are also incorporated.
Kington Langley Village Hall (KLVH) is a modern and vibrant facility located in Wiltshire’s Kington Langley village conservation area.
The Village Hall has undergone a major improvement programme over the past few years, with the ultimate goal of significantly reducing energy and operational costs. A HeatingSave Hall Energy & Security Management System (HESM, for short) was installed at the KLVH as part of this project in mid 2014.
Our HeatingSave reporter initially interviewed Dr. Peter Giles, Head of the Projects Group at the Kington Langley Village Hall back in October 2014 – you can find more about the initial experience of HeatingSavehere.
Less than a year later, Dr Giles came back to us with a very interesting update, one which further confirms the HeatingSave system’s impressive track record in cutting energy use and saving of fuel bills; as well as its extensive environmental monitoring capabilities.
Established for over 30 years, Sealey Power Products is one of the UK’s leading suppliers of workshop tools and equipment, primarily for use in an automotive environment.
The company sells to over 70 countries worldwide, its full product line targeting a vast range of markets and applications. Sealey Power Products has a very strong network of distributors and manages all of its commercial operations from its headquarters in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk.
Located on a sprawling industrial park and employing 300 members of staff, Sealey Power Products relies on 2 gas-fired boilers to power its central heating and hot water systems.
In early 2012, higher energy bills triggered by rising energy costs and the heating system’s age and limitations persuaded the company’s management to start looking for a “solution to deliver more control and enhanced visibility over the central heating and hot water systems” said Iain Whitmore, the Facilities Manager of Sealey.Continue reading “HeatingSave cuts heating bills for Sealey Power Products” »
The Lindum Group is a well-known name in the construction sector, focusing on large construction projects, especially in the food manufacturing and retailing sectors, as well as education and social housing. The Group directly employs around 450 people at any one time and has a turnover of £80m, with offices in Lincoln, Grimsby, Spalding, Peterborough and London.
In 2012, the company saw the huge energy and money saving potential provided by the HeatingSaveBuilding Energy Management System and decided to have it installed at their Lincoln headquarters. The results were immediately visible as the Group cut their energy spending by “more than 5,000 pounds” within the year.
HeatingSave had the pleasure of interviewing Mr. Warren Glover, the Lindum Group Facilities Manager, back in May 2013 – you can find more about their very positive initial experience of HeatingSavehere.
The Judd School is a Voluntary Aided Grammar School for boys, with a number of girls in the sixth form, situated in Tonbridge, Kent and supported by The Skinners’ Company. It hosts 150 members of staff and around 1100 pupils.
The core of the school is the School Room – an inspiring 1896 hall which is used for assemblies, concerts and theatrical performances. In recent times, a further five substantial buildings have been added to the site, providing spacious and dedicated facilities for a variety of subjects. The old buildings have also been refurbished in order to provide the necessary space for various curriculum areas.
As with many schools, the rising cost of energy prompted the Governing body to start looking for a solution that would help reduce this significant financial overhead.
Kington Langley Village Hall (KLVH) is a modern and well equipped facility situated on the edge of the playing fields in the Kington Langley village conservation area and conveniently located just 3 miles from Chippenham, Wiltshire.
KLVH was established as a charitable trust in 1963 to provide meeting facilities for villagers, but also rents out its premises to others as a way of generating income. Its main hall is a large flexible space, approximately 20m x 9m, that can accommodate 150 people at tables or 180 in close seating format. It also offers interested parties the option to hire the Committee Room, which is ideal for meetings and smaller presentations.
The Fulbridge Academy is a large primary school in New England, Peterborough. It hosts just over 100 members of staff and approximately 640 pupils. It is in the largest 20% of Primary School’s nationally and is the largest in the Local Authority.
The school originally opened in 1935 and serves one of the oldest parts of the city. It was centrally heated right from the start, and, at the time, the hot water pipes were in the cloakrooms so that the children’s coats would dry out during the day if it had been raining.
Extra corridors and classrooms were constructed in 1949 and again in 1960. The school’s premises have continued expand slowly over the years.
In 2011, the school’s board and the Local Council were reviewing the ever increasing cost of running the school including the heating costs. Six gas fired Hamworthy boilers heat the school via radiators and also provide the hot water.
The North East Ambulance Service provides a number of NHS services, and covers the counties of County Durham, Northumberland, and Tyne and Wear, along with the boroughs of Darlington, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Redcar and Cleveland and Stockton-on-Tees.
The service operates from 60 stations spread across this vast region and employs more than 2,000 staff responding to over 360,000 emergency and urgent incidents per annum. Their fleet of more than 500 vehicles clocks-up close to 10 million miles per year.
After taking up the role of Environmental & Sustainability Manager at NHS North East Ambulance Service and reviewing the buildings within the trust’s portfolio, Ms. Clare Swift decided that immediate measures had to be implemented to make the buildings more energy efficient and help the Trust save money.
The first two targets were the Alnwick and Morpeth Ambulance Stations in Northumberland. The two sites use gas-fired boilers and radiators for heating and hot water provision and they are each permanently manned by 30 members of staff.