Alconbury House is a large, imposing Georgian house located in the beautiful surroundings of Alconbury, Cambridgeshire. The house was built in the first half of the 19’th century and is a Grade 2 listed building. It uses a large oil fired boiler both for hot water provision and heating.
In early 2012, the owners, Mr. and Mrs. Trotman, decided to participate in the Building Research Establishment’s (BRE) project called BRE 30-30, where a number of buildings were selected in order to test the extent to which retro-fitting heating controls to existing heating systems could cut household fuel bills.
The project monitored each building for 30 days before any controls were retro-fitted and again for 30 days after the controls were fitted, to measure any savings made.
The BRE 30-30 project was so successful that Mr & Mrs Trotman asked if they could keep they system in place after it concluded, as HeatingSave had performed so well in cutting their heating bills.
Mrs. Trotman recalls that the system’s hardware and software installation processes went very well. She was also quite happy with the training she received on using the system: “the quality of the training process was very good”, she told the HeatingSave reporter.
Mrs. Trotman believes that, right now, the HeatingSave system is being used at its full potential, reducing their oil bill by over 25%. It does so by running the boiler in a more efficient manner and also granting users a variety of control options – it lets them manage quite extensively the heating patterns and the heating diary, and see where & when they have been using the most fuel/energy.
In fact, “the system’s ability to change/reduce oil consumption levels” is exactly what the Alconbury House residents love most about the HeatingSave system.
HeatingSave works equally well on most types of central heating systems that use natural gas, oil, solid fuel (such as anthracite), electricity or LPG. Moreover, HeatingSave will also control renewable heating systems, such as air & ground source and wood burners.
Mrs. Trotman also told the HeatingSave reporter that, as far as she’s concerned, the HeatingSave system is “quite easy to use. In fact, it’s me that should be reminded to check it from time to time.”
Ever since the HeatingSave system was set up in Alconbury House, the owners only had to contact the HeatingSave technical support line on a few occasions, in order to sort out some minor issues, and Mrs. Trotman describes the quality of the analysts’ service as “excellent. It was very good every time I called them”.
In fact, since everything worked out so well, the Alconbury House replied with a definite “Yes, I would” when asked whether she would recommend HeatingSave to other home owners.
Summing up, Mrs. Trotman is quite happy with the HeatingSave Building Energy Management System installed at Alconbury House, describing the system as a “reliable, useful way of being in charge of the heating system and its timings, and also save on oil”.
The Old Rectory in Kings Cliffe near Peterborough is a fine example of a large early Victorian house set in its own grounds. Like many large old houses it is not inexpensive to heat and the current owner, Mr Collins, had noticed how the price of gas had increased dramatically when he received his quarterly bill. Keen to do something about the situation, Mr Collins surfed the internet to see if there was any way in which he could reduce his gas bill. “The Old Rectory is large and drafty, and the heating system is pretty old too” he explained to the HeatingSave reporter.
A HeatingSave House and Home system was installed in 2008 and this was linked to a PC so that Mr Collins could see the graph of the savings made for him. “I was sceptical as to whether the system could make any savings with our old boiler. I thought maybe 5% to 10%?” said Mr Collins, “… can you imaging how surprised I was to see a 24% reduction in the fuel usage for the first two months!” he exclaimed
Asked what he liked most about HeatingSave, “Saving me money on my heating bill!!” was his initial reply. He then added, “The most impressive thing is what they call the Heating Algorithm. It works out the latest time to turn on the boiler to get to the temperature I want; whether a room temperature in the house or the hot water.”
Mr Collins also likes the use of the PIRs to automatically turn down the heating when he is not at home. He is abroad much of the time and finds the way in which the heating automatically turns itself down when nobody is around particularly useful.
In conclusion Mr Collins said “Every house should have a HeatingSave system. My one will pay for itself in less than a year, which is more than I could say if I had installed a new boiler” and summing up his experience of HeatingSave in a few words Mr Collins concluded “Professional company, first class service, clever technology but simple to use.”
Dr Jones lives in a basement apartment in London, W14. Whilst this is not a large dwelling to heat, Dr Jones was keen to keep his heating bills to a minimum. One of his main problems is that he is often away from home and some of this absence is impromptu and unplanned.
Dr Jones wanted to see just how well the HeatingSave system would work in his home, so he installed a system in December 2008. Connected to the House & Home version of the system are passive infra-red detectors or PIR’s. These sensors detect body heat and are used by HeatingSave as occupancy sensors and can spot when Dr Jones is at home and when he is not. “I wanted to see just how well the HeatingSave system would work in my flat” he explained to the HeatingSave reporter.
He described how the HeatingSave system had made considerable savings off his heating bill and added, ”The PIR’s have made the greatest difference for me. Quite simply, HeatingSave automatically turns down the heating when I am not at home and turns it up on my return”. Dr Jones likes in general the automatic way in which HeatingSave House & Home works without him having to make any adjustments. “HeatingSave works well for me” concluded Dr Jones.
Pamela and Ian Wilkie live in a Grade 2 listed building at Hail Weston, in Cambridgeshire, which is the oldest house in the village. Because the home is very old (dated from 1535) it has no insulation apart from the roof and no cavity walls. The only part of the four-bedroom four-reception room property with proper insulation is a new wing. Also due to its listed status the house loses heat very easily. The couple wanted a more efficient way to heat their home, and as they explained: “Because we can’t do anything to the house we wanted a system that didn’t require modifying the home. For example, we aren’t allowed double glazing as we can’t do anything to the windows.”
They chose a HeatingSaveHouse and Home system for their Rayburn boiler, which provides oil for water and central heating, because HeatingSave’s internal computer system works out the absolute latest time to switch on the boiler for the rooms to be warm for when you want them. For those with an oil-fired system like the Wilkies it predicts how much oil is left in the tank. The HeatingSave system was installed in September 2009. They both received training in its use, and Pamela said it was “very good and patient.”
One feature of the Building Energy Management System they use is passive infra-red detectors (PIR’s) to control occupancy. When no-one is in the room the heating is switched off, but as soon as someone enters it comes on. Pamela commented: “They are very effective,” adding: “Obviously it’s saving us money. It’s good that we’re not heating the rooms if we don’t need to when we are not using them. You can use the PIR sensors for this.”
There have been no problems with the hardware or software installation: plus since then, their controller has been upgraded. They have called the HeatingSave help desk, with Pamela telling the reporter: “The service has been good, and also the engineer has popped in regularly.” Asked on how HeatingSave could be improved, Pamela said it could be a bit more user-friendly for older people: “Maybe a more simple manual or version for the older generation who have not grown up with computers.”
On what she liked most about the HeatingSave system, Pamela replied: “The fact it saves us money. For our home a heating system without HeatingSave is very extravagant and we hadn’t been aware of how much money could be saved as we are able to heat specific rooms. It’s doing its job very well.” And would she recommend HeatingSave to other companies? “Yes, we have done and we will continue to do so.” When invited to sum up HeatingSave in a few words, Pamela commented: “I think it’s a very good idea, very impressive.”
Mr Denman built a large modern house in Eltisley, Cambridgeshire some 10 years ago. A Rayburn range was installed to heat both the house and the hot water. Although Mr Denman used the latest central heating technology when the house was originally constructed, he was becoming concerned that with rising energy costs the system was not as efficient as it could be.
“After installing HeatingSave I noticed an immediate difference” he explained to the HeatingSave reporter. “The house is at a more even temperature and the feeling of ‘too hot’ or ‘too cold’ has just vanished. I know its saving me money!” he added.
When asked what he liked most about HeatingSave, “Cutting the cost of my heating bills” was Mr Denman’s first response. He then said, “I’ve wanted something like HeatingSave for some time. It gives me the degree of control that I just can’t get with normal thermostats and time clocks, and puts me in charge”.
Mr Denman showed the reporter his HeatingSave setup and explained how he used the existing cabling to connect the occupancy sensors to the HeatingSave controller. “The best part is that it’s automatic” he said “It works out the latest possible time to turn the boiler on 1st thing in the morning and automatically turns down the heating when we are not at home. It’s great!”.
Mr Denman concluded “HeatingSave is an attractively priced effective product. I would recommend it to any home or business”.
HeatingSaveexhibited their Building Energy Management System (BEMS) at the Huntingdonshire Green Heart Environment Exhibition held in the Burgess Hall in St Ives, Cambridgeshire on Saturday 5th June 2010. The aim of the exhibition was to raise awareness of environmental technologies and products/services to local householders, businesses, public sector organisations and schools. By bringing these visitors, groups and exhibitors together Huntingdon District Council felt it would provide the opportunity to network and promote projects, products and services to a wide ranging audience.
Heidi.Field, the council’s Environment Officer said: “Open to residents, businesses, community groups and schools in Huntingdonshire, this event will help publicise what has motivated the people of Huntingdonshire to take environmental action, what has been helpful to make their projects successful and what challenges they have faced and overcome along the way.”
HeatingSave demonstrated their BEMSthat can make 30%+ fuel and energy savings. On display was the type of system that has been used by Bedfordshire Police in their police stations to dramatically reduce the amount of gas needed to heat the premises. The system that links to a PC in the headquarters via the Internet, shows graphs of savings made, kilowatt-hours used and CO2 produced.
HeatingSave’s Managing Director showed Heidi Field how easy it was to simply choose the room and hot water temperature you want, and when, and then leave HeatingSave does the rest; from day one giving comfort, energy savings and peace of mind. He pointed out that HeatingSave internal heat-loss algorithm works on most types of gas and oil fired boilers – especially old ones – and now solid fuel too.
Bedfordshire Police use inexpensive occupancy sensors and the heating diary to heat only when stations are occupied meaning there is no wasted fuel when nobody is there. Government approved to save fuel costs by the Carbon Trust, DEFRA and Energy Savings Trust, HeatingSave is a “must” for the public sector as they grapple with hard pressed budgets.
Huntingdonshire District Council believes the need to upgrade the energy performance of the existing private housing stock and encourage householders to take positive action to do the same is becoming increasingly pressing. This is why they have created the “The Green House project”, which is designed to take two houses representative of the housing stock of the district (one in St Neots and one in St Ives) and install cost effective energy efficiency and carbon reducing measures.
The Green House project is due for completion in the summer of 2010 and once complete the houses will be open for public viewing. This project supports the Environment theme in the Huntingdonshire Strategic Partnership strategy, which the partnership is working towards.
Mr Bradley lives in a period house set in its own grounds in Penn near Wolverhampton. As with many old houses, keeping the heating bill low is difficult. This is partly due to the size of the property and partly because of the materials used to construct the house. Mr Bradley had already taken practical measures to make the house, an old forge, energy efficient and was looking at a better way to manage the oil fired central heating system. After searching the internet he came across HeatingSave and organised for a HeatingSave House & Home system to be installed in August 2009.
“HeatingSave is saving me hundreds of pounds a year” explained Mr Bradley to the HeatingSave reporter. Mr Bradley’s HeatingSave installation uses occupancy sensors to detect when people are at home. These automatically lower the room temperature when the house is empty and then automatically raise the room temperature when people arrive back. The system is also linked to a laptop PC so that Mr Bradley can view the heating graphs to make sure the system is programmed the way he wants it.
Asked what he liked most about HeatingSave, Mr Bradley gave the familiar response of “Saving money!”. but he then added, “Like many professional families we are often out, so its impossible to program a heating timeclock to suit our lifestyle. HeatingSave’s occupancy sensors overcome this problem brilliantly”. Mr Bradley is also pleased with the way the Heating Algorithm calculates the latest time to turn on the boiler each morning to get the house to the required temperature.
Summing up HeatingSave Mr Bradley said “I am not surprised that HeatingSave is recommended by the Carbon Trust, the Energy Savings Trust and London Green500. It’s a great product, and what’s more it’s designed and made in Britain” – and would Mr Bradley recommend HeatingSave to other home owners? “Most definitely yes!” was the reply.
Stonycroft House is a substantial house in the delightful village of Edmondthorpe in Leicestershire. It is heated by a large oil fired boiler that has zone valves to control the flow of heat to the hot water cylinders and radiators. In 2009 the owner, Mr Bowden, was becoming concerned with the rising cost of oil and the predictions by the OECD that the price of oil could treble by 2025. “Heating a large house like Stonycroft is expensive” explained Mr Bowden to the HeatingSave reporter. “I needed to do something to improve the heating controls as I am often away on business and during this time the heating is on. The problem is that I might be called away and can’t always get back to change the heating settings”
After searching the Internet, Mr Bowden came across www.heatingsave.com. He checked with HeatingSave Ltd regarding what its Building Energy Management System could do for him and a HeatingSave House & Home system was installed shortly afterwards. The HeatingSave House & Home controls all aspect of heating and is linked to a PC that is also connected to the Internet. Mr Bowden can use his mobile phone to update the HeatingSave diary so the heating systems “knows” when he intends to be at home and when he will be away. “The savings I have made on oil consumption are quiet amazing”, explained Mr Bowden. “I think this is partly due to this heating algorithm they have in HeatingSave that works out the latest time to switch on the heating and the earliest time it can get away with switching it off. However, for me, it’s the occupancy sensors which I believe have made the greatest difference. That’s because they are automatic and turn down the heating if I don’t come home”
When asked what he liked most about HeatingSave Mr Bowden said, “Its got to be cutting the cost of my oil bill, but, what I like best are the occupancy sensors”.
Mr Bowden described how the house still feels just as warm now as before HeatingSave was installed. He also likes being able to view the heating graphs on his PC to see how well the system is working, When asked if he would recommend HeatingSave to other owners of large houses or businesses he said “Most definitely! I tell all my friends, you know. I am even thinking of selling it myself? With the current downturn in the economy, businesses and the public sector will be looking at ways to cut costs – and this is a great way to cut costs from waste – it’s a win, win situation”
Finally Mr Bowden added “Great product HeatingSave. Keep up the good work!”
Stonycroft House, 4 Main Street, Edmondthorpe, Rutland, Leicestershire
Mr. Bob Patrick lives together with his family in 4-bedroom detached bungalow in Wincanton, Somerset. The manager of a successful coffee pod business, Mr. Patrick is well aware of the significant savings even a slight cut in overall costings can achieve on the long term.
Mr. Patrick’s bungalow is heated by multiple radiators, connected to a single gas-fired condensing boiler, which is also used for hot water provision. Moreover, the house also includes a wood burner, installed in the living room.
While extending his property a few years ago, Bob was also looking for a solution that would grant him “a very high level of controllability” over his home’s heating system, especially during those times of the year when the weather is warmer. He was already accustomed to the benefits provided by a heating control system, as he had previously used an older product of this type at another residence, but he simply couldn’t find one that would perfectly suit his needs.
“Some of the other systems I’ve researched either featured a boiler flow sensor and an interior temperature sensor, but no external temperature sensor, or the other way around. None of them had all of the features and functions I required, integrated in a single, comprehensive solution.” Mr. Patrick told our reporter.
Luckily, when searching the Internet for a solution that would help him “save on heating”, he came across the HeatingSave system, that immediately caught his eye. The reason? “It provided just about every bit of functionality I wanted, and more”, Bob said.
Since he was quite confident in his technical abilities, Mr. Patrick decided to install the HeatingSave House & Home system by himself, back in September 2011.
HeatingSave House & Home can reduce heating bills by 20% to 30%+ by better and more efficiently running the heating (or cooling) system. It relies on a proprietary, advanced heat-loss algorithm that self-learns the heating characteristics of each heating zone within one’s home and determines the optimum pattern for efficiently heating it, while in the same time cutting the bills.
Moreover, the system grants user multiple access options, as it can be easily controlled via the associated web-based software, from any type of device connected to the Internet just about anywhere around the world. It also allows users to view exactly just how much energy their house requires at all times, and can even act as an alarm, sending alerts whenever abnormal temperatures are recorded.
Bob recalls that no problems were encountered when installing the HeatingSave hardware, but he had a couple of issues when configuring the control software on his PC and getting it to work with the rest of the system.
After contacting HeatingSave, Mr. Patrick was able to ultimately solve all of those problems and has tweaked his system to a point where it “works brilliantly” and offers “a very good level of comfort”.
Asked whether HeatingSave helped him save on the fuel bill, Mr. Patrick’s answer was “Yes, definitely. It easily saves at least 20 percent”. Bob also believes that he uses the system as its full potential, after “sitting down and going through every available setting”.
When asked by the HeatingSave reporter whether he has any plans for extending the system, Mr. Patrick’s answer was that “I only use 4 relays on the board right now, so there’s plenty of potential there to add extras, need be”. “On the other hand, I’m eagerly looking forward to your new Linux-based controller, and I will upgrade as soon as it becomes available,” Bob added.
Mr. Patrick is now so accustomed to using HeatingSave that he feels confident to say: “For me, it’s already very easy to use.”
Talking about what he likes most about the HeatingSave system, Bob said he appreciates the extensive “control options and adjustable parameters”, as well as the possibility of setting specific heating patterns using the diary function.
When questioned whether he would recommend the HeatingSave system to other home owners, Mr. Patrick answered “Yes, I certainly would”. As for his overall experience with HeatingSave, Bob said that “It’s a brilliant little system, that works really well. The technology inside it is very well done. Plus, as far as I’m concerned, I got a very good deal out of it, since it wasn’t that expensive and it has already saved me a lot of money.”