Norwich High School for Girls cuts gas bills with HeatingSave
Norwich High School for Girls, founded in 1875, is one of 26 schools of the Girls’ Day School Trust (GDST), the largest group of independent schools in the UK, with 4,000 staff and over 20,000 students between the ages of three and 18.
Norwich High School has historical roots in Norfolk and in the local community, and houses around 1,000 students and members of staff at any given time. The main buildings are attached to a distinguished Regency house. In addition, there is the Polliwiggle Nursery, a Junior Department with many specialist rooms, a sixth form centre, music school, spacious sports hall, 25 metre indoor heated pool and a state-of-the-art performing arts centre.
Mr. Paul Fowler, the Norwich High School for Girls Estates Manager, remembers that, around 18 months ago, he realized that the implementation of a solid Building Energy Management System (BEMS) within the school had the potential to deliver a superior level of control over the heating system (comprising 16 gas-fired boilers) and save energy, as well as money.
“I had used the HeatingSave system at another school, so I was quite familiar with the superior level of control it provides, and I also knew how much money it can save”, Mr. Fowler answered when asked to explain the reasons behind his decision to suggest HeatingSave as the BEMS solution of choice.
After careful consideration of Mr. Fowler’s proposal, the Girls’ Day School Trust (GDST) decided to go ahead with the installation of multiple HeatingSave Small Business systems, covering all of the boilers and multiple heating zones at Norwich High School for Girls.
Due to the complexity of the site, the installation process was carried out in two different phases, the latest one being officially commissioned back in October 2012.
Apart from a few minor glitches that were quickly sorted out by the HeatingSave engineers, no significant problems were recorded during either the hardware or the software installation processes.
The school’s Estates Manager received extensive training on using the system (which he describes as a “very good and informative” process), but even so, Mr. Fowler admits that he’s probably not using it at its full potential.
While Mr. Fowler couldn’t really tell us just how much the school is saving, since energy bills are managed at Trust level and typically delayed by a year, he did mention that “every indication we have suggests that we’re achieving some major savings in terms of fuel.“
When asked by the HeatingSave reporter what he likes most about the system, the Norwich High School for Girls Estates Manager replied that he particularly enjoys “its ease of use and extensive reliability”.
In terms of after-sales service, Mr. Paul Fowler couldn’t be happier. “I’ve called the HeatingSave help desk line a few times, and their service was really good” he said, adding that “At some point, our swimming pool heating system developed a functionality problem. We called the help desk, and since the issue couldn’t be resolved over the phone, one of the HeatingSave Operations Department Engineers arrived at our site in just 3 hours’ time, and immediately sorted it out.”
The HeatingSave system installed at the Norwich High School for Girls works very well, but Mr. Fowler does have some valuable suggestions regarding future development that the HeatingSave team will take on board: “Our school’s network has quite an advanced firewall installed, which, at this time, prevents the HeatingSave help desk analysts from logging in to our system directly, in case of an emergency. Don’t get me wrong, I have received excellent advice from the Help Desk over the phone and solved every issue that appeared, but I would rather have them remotely connect to the system and sort out the problems directly.”
Mr. Fowler is so pleased with the fuel savings and superior level of boiler control the HeatingSave system has managed to deliver that he actually considers extending it further by fitting all the radiators in the school with HeatSave wireless thermostatic radiator valves.
“This is a proposal I’ve forwarded to the Trust board and we’ll have to see what happens next. We’re looking for an even more in-depth level of control for the radiators, and I believe HeatSave can deliver that.”
Although they enable savings of up to 30%+ on energy bills even when used on their own, the HeatSave wireless thermostatic radiator valves can actually enable a more in-depth energy optimization process when connected to a HeatingSave Building Energy Management System.
The HeatSave valves can be very easily installed on most radiators out there, by simply unscrewing and replacing the old TRVs. They enable further savings and superior control by memorizing and applying specific heating patters to the radiator they’re controlling, while delivering silent, power-efficient operation and automatic exercising when unused for more than 7 days, in order to minimize seizing of radiator valves in warmer months.
When asked whether he would recommend the HeatingSave system to other schools, Mr. Fowler answered that “I already have. Our school was a sort of pilot project within the Girls’ Day School Trust (GDST). Since we’ve had such a good experience with the HeatingSave system, I’ve recommended it for extensive use across the 25 other schools in the trust.”
Summing up, Mr. Fowler believes that “HeatingSave is a reliable and dependable system, backed-up by a solid and equally reliable after-sales service”.
Norwich High School
95 Newmarket Road
Phone: +44 (0)1603 453265