Northiam Village Hall Trust Cuts a Third Off its Heating Bills Thanks to HeatingSave
Situated near Rye, in the High Weald of East Sussex, the gorgeous village of Northiam hosts a population of 2,500. A third of these will attend events in their village hall from time to time, for social gatherings, performances, meetings or exercise classes.
Inspired by a local presentation organised by a county-wide ACRE forum at the end of 2019, chair Keith Whiting approached the hall’s trust committee with the proposal to retrofit HeatingSave to their existing heating systems with a view to improving their heating and energy management, cutting heating costs and reduce their carbon footprint. The decision was unanimously approved, and the Don Hanson Charitable Foundation were kind enough to advance Northiam Village Hall Trust a loan to assist in the cost of installing the HeatingSave Building Energy Management System.
Following a completed install in August 2020, our reporter spoke to Keith and the hall’s treasurer, Bernard Bone, to learn more about their experience.
When asked about their initial thought process and main objectives, Bernard recalled “we wanted a smart room booking system, and we wanted to save on fuel costs — especially during winter, when the heating was running 7 am to 9 pm whether the hall was in use or not.”
Keith added that they “did a bit of research but were content that they were dealing with the professionals when talking to HeatingSave.”
Northiam Village Hall runs with two hot water gas boilers on a pressurised system that was controlled manually using a single time-clock with zone valves and TRVs manually set on each radiator. The booking system at the time was entirely stand-alone, and there was no relationship between hirings and the control of the heating system. Now, when a booking is taken, it is input remotely to the HeatingSave BEMS Controller by the hall’s booking clerk using the HeatingSave program. The Controller manages the building in zones that can be controlled independently through fifteen TRVs and Temperature Sensors connected to the Controller by WiFi. This creates a flexible system that matches the call for heating with the booking system, and with the ability to tailor the temperature to suit the type of booking.
Bernard and Keith like the flexibility of the HeatingSave system for setting different temperatures along with the booking times — “fitness classes differ to a group of people sitting down to a meeting… that facility alone to modify the temperature is incredibly helpful.”
Since installing HeatingSave for booking and heating control, Northiam Village Hall Trust has added the Access Control module to their system. This now unlocks the hall front door via. a code pad, so the hirer can access the building at the appropriate time using a unique PIN synchronised to their booking.
When asked what the committee likes about HeatingSave, Keith mentioned “it gives us an easy-to-use booking system, doing away with paperwork, and it manages the heating and access to the building. This has much improved our security has increased – much better than our previous system!”
Bernard continued, “The big benefit for us is cutting costs. We’re confident we’ve saved a third on our gas bills.”
Both Keith and Bernard have also dealt with the HeatingSave Helpdesk, and remarked that they have always received “first-class service,” expressing they “value that point of contact,” and as such, have already recommended HeatingSave to neighbouring village halls that have visited.
Ending the discussion, Bernard was asked by the reporter if he could sum up HeatingSave: “We like the fact it can be used to control access and ultimately the building’s energy use. The versatility of the system is surprisingly good, I think it’s a clever system. We’ve been pleased it does exactly what it says on the tin, and it has saved us money. We still have some wrinkles to iron out, partly to do with our learning of the Heating Save system, but we are getting there. We’re delighted that we made the investment.”
Northiam Village Hall