Plain Sailing at Cardiff Bay Yacht Club as HeatingSave Cuts Gas & Electricity Spending
Located on the water’s edge overlooking Cardiff Bay, Cardiff Bay Yacht Club can trace its origins all the way back to 1932. It is now one of the premier water sports clubs in Wales and was awarded ‘Volvo Championship Club’ status (now known as British Youth Sailing Recognised Club) in 2004 – one of only three clubs in Wales to achieve this remarkable standard.
The Club offers its members a wide range of facilities both nautical and social. It has extensive mooring rights for 500 boats with a fully piled pontoon system on the River Ely, while its current Clubhouse, opened in 1998 by H.R.H. Princess Anne, has two bars, ample changing facilities, and the Club’s Administration Office as well as training facilities.
Following the successful installation of a HeatingSave Building Management System in September 2020, our reporter spoke with Roger Wallington from Cardiff Bay Yacht Club. Besides being a member of the club, Roger also has a background in the management and utilisation of energy including experience with building management systems.
Although he retired 20 years ago, Roger’s knowledge proved invaluable in turning the club’s utility expenses around. Whilst reviewing the club’s annual accounts, he spotted how much energy they were using – and how much it was costing the 1,000 registered members.
After some analysis of the energy spend, and an in-depth utility survey, Roger presented to the club’s board a 60-page in-depth report highlighting that the “existing heating control system was out-of-date and abused.”
The Cardiff Bay Yacht Club boiler plant consists of a gas-fired propane condensing boiler on a wet heating system. The radiators are a mixture of standard ones and 3 large fan convectors located on the Quarterdeck Bar. The water heating for Domestic hot water and showers is provided by a separate propane boiler.
Roger recalls that inadequate metering was one of the main reasons why the Club was losing money. In his own words, “the electricity had one meter, the gas was not metered, and whilst the water was metered, the bill came every six months – that was a big problem and there needed to be some order.” Submeters were also recommended and now the consumption of each boiler is separately metered and both pontoon sets have both water and electricity meters.
Their existing “antiquated and inflexible control system,” posed even more problems. “It simply wasn’t fit for purpose,” Roger added.
Roger also explained that variable occupancy was definitely something they needed to consider when installing a new control system. “The club is not like a standard office,” he told the HeatingSave reporter. “There are many different areas such as the bars, restaurant, changing rooms, the office… and all of these are only open on certain days and times.”
Following a very thorough research process, Roger found HeatingSave Building Management System to be the perfect solution to the club’s problems. Asked to explain where HeatingSave stood out against other competitors, Roger said that “the system is wireless, easy to install, value for money, and provided exactly what we needed with our operational patterns.”
Asked if Cardiff Bay Yacht Club are currently using the HeatingSave system to its full potential, Roger’s quick reply was: “Yes, is the straight answer! Our previous system was basic. It couldn’t have coped with Covid and the restrictions that followed.” The water heating boiler has also been incorporated into the HeatingSave BMS functionality.
Using the office PC to manage the software, the club has set up 13 different heating zones and also utilises the HeatingSave room booking system for irregular uses such as committee meetings.
Roger is also looking forward to next year when he will be able to see what savings have been made under normal operating conditions using CUSUM analysis. “HeatingSave has enabled us to take advantage of the possibility to heat only specific areas of the building – and that flexibility has been able to save us money during the Covid period,” he commented.
Variable occupancy is yet another area where HeatingSave has managed to help Cardiff Bay Yacht Club achieve significant savings. In Roger’s own words, “the occupancy sensors have even solved a problem we didn’t know we had.” Unaware to the committee, the club had a second heating circulation pump running 24/7 and exhaust fans also running 24/7 in the showers and toilets. The exhaust fans are now controlled by occupancy sensors to reduce energy consumption and the second circulating pump was taken out of use: “Overall, we have saved on electricity and gas heating costs,” Roger added.
The installation was not entirely straightforward due to the design and construction of the building. Extra extenders were required to ensure wifi integrity and these and other minor changes to some sensors were set up by Roger with the help of the HeatingSave Helpdesk. “I have a great relationship with the HeatingSave Helpdesk too,” said Roger. “They have always been very helpful.”
When asked by the HeatingSave reporter whether he would recommend the system to other similar clubs and leisure facilities, Roger promptly answered that he “would have no hesitation in recommending HeatingSave to any facility or organization that runs intermittent operations such as ourselves.”
Summing up his experience of HeatingSave, Roger concluded “HeatingSave gives the club the flexibility it needs and the diagnostics have proved very useful – the software is all-encompassing.”
Cardiff Bay Yacht Club