Sheffield care home slashes heating bills with HeatingSave
Abbeyfield Grange is a family run residential care home based in Sheffield, Yorkshire, where 19 people work. Managing consultant Paul Britain runs the business side, while his wife Zofia is the owner and manager. They decided to have installed a building energy management system (BEMS) on the home’s main site after receiving some very high bills last winter. Zofia explained: “The bills that arrived at the end of last year and at the start of this year made my eyes water. So we had to do something about it.”
After making enquiries with one other competitor, they decided to choose HeatingSave’s BEMS after Paul became aware of the company when he attended a seminar run by the Carbon Trust. The Trust recommends HeatingSave because of its energy-saving products which reduce a building’s carbon footprint. The couple were also impressed by the HeatingSave website, which gave them pretty clear explanations of how the system worked and what its benefits were.
The system was installed in May on their two gas boilers, and they were impressed when there was a slight problem after the hardware installation, which turned out not to be the fault of HeatingSave: “It was a coincidence that a part had broken down on the boiler. The engineer came up again from down south without complaint, and we didn’t get a bill for it. It gave us more confidence in the company,” Zofia added.
Because of regulations preventing the occurrence of Legionnaires’ disease, the boiler has to be left on at a temperature of at least 60 degrees Celsius for an hour per day. HeatingSave “has certainly helped us make savings on that,” said Zofia, who added what she likes about the system: “It gives us the flexibility of being able to alter the temperature settings according to our operational needs, which then allows us to save money. Also, it’s the quality of service we can provide our residents. It’s difficult because the residents have mental health problems, and they are out for most of the day, so we can’t justify heating an empty room all day. I can then react to any complaints that it is too cold, and change the temperature. She added: “We use HeatingSave as a boost to the system, which means for the rest of the time I can leave the boiler much lower – so we are making some savings out of that.”
They also said that staff are reassured that the room or building temperature can be operated remotely from anywhere, while at the same time giving management control over the settings and savings made – which is typically 20 to 30 per cent off fuel bills, meaning payback can be as little as one or two years. The BEMS enables a user to consult heating graphs and to change temperature settings via a PC, which HeatingSave provided the home with as a modification. The couple have called the HeatingSave help desk in order to change some settings as this can be done remotely from our base at Hail Weston, and said this has “mostly helped.”
They said they plan to extend the system onto a second site. Zofia commented: “We would like more development of the software so it is a bit more user-friendly, most definitely, for someone like me who is not computer literate. Yes, I would recommend HeatingSave to other companies, with those reservations I mentioned.”
Zofia said that it is hard to say if HeatingSave has saved on their fuel yet until they receive their first winter bill, but added: “I’m convinced that it will have made savings.” Zofia summed up HeatingSave by saying: “It is a very good company.”
Abbeyfield Grange, Sheffield