Wheatley Park School is a secondary school located on the site of Holton Park, 5 miles south east of Oxford, adjacent to the ancient coaching village of Wheatley. The extensive campus includes a suite of nine science laboratories, a design centre, and other specialist rooms including a library, hall and gymnasium, and, depending on demand, the school can accommodate up to 1400 students and the associated staff.
Wheatley Park comprises multiple buildings, with each relying on its own separate heating system. As with many schools, the cost of energy represents one of Wheatley Park School’s main financial overheads, and since heating and electricity bills have been constantly rising, the school’s board decided back in 2013 that it was about time to do something about it. In particular, they wanted better control over the heating system and a system that would enable them to “reduce the heating bills”, as Mr. David Jones, the Wheatley Park School site manager, told the HeatingSave reporter.
After contacting HeatingSave, the school decided to install our latest T3520 and haven’t looked back since!.
The T3520 Linux-based system hosts the HeatingSave control software right on the board, which effectively removes the need for a PC and provides connection to the web and mobile devices. The system can also have an integral 3G phone connection and comes with loads of new features including electricity, gas and water monitoring and targeting and new sensors for measuring room air quality (relative humidity & carbon dioxide).
The Sixth Form Centre building where the HeatingSave system was installed uses two gas-fired boilers for heating, coupled with a couple of dedicated heaters for hot water provision. The Centre was refurbished in 2009 and occupies its own buildings that have been converted for sixth form use. It offers a variety of facilities including an IT study area with wireless network, a silent study area with careers library and a newly furnished common room with its own canteen.
Mr. Jones recalls that the system’s installation was a fast and easy process. A few minor technical issues did occur at the tine, but “they were all quickly sorted”.
HeatingSave immediately cut their energy consumption and allowed the school to match the occupancy of areas to the way in which the heating was being delivered. To put it in the words of the Wheatley Park’s Site Manager: “It’s an absolutely brilliant system in terms of the level of control it delivers, and I’m quite sure that we still have to learn quite a bit more about its in-depth features before we can say that we’re using it at its full potential.”
He added that “the ability to control the heating extensively makes it an ideal solution for our school. We’ve already set-up specific heating patterns for normal school days, and the ability to set exceptions or change settings for specific events (like parent’s nights) is also very useful”.
Mr. Jones believes that the system is very user-friendly, but one does require solid training in order to fast-track the learning process: “Right now, I believe it’s quite an user-friendly system, easy to control. It can be a bit difficult to get used to, at first, but with a bit of practice, anyone could get their head around it quite quickly.”
Wheatley Park called the HeatingSave customer support line on a few occasions, and the Site Manager couldn’t be happier.
“I must also point out that I particularly liked the HeatingSave helpdesk service.
Whenever we experienced some sort of fault affecting our previous heating control system and were forced to call their support line, I’d have to go through the automated system – press 1 for this, press 2 for that, and so on.
With HeatingSave, you get immediate human interaction, with a helpdesk analyst picking up your call and thoroughly guiding you. I, for one, find it much more reassuring to talk to a live person rather than following pre-recorded instructions from a robot.”
When asked whether he would recommend HeatingSave to other schools the Wheatley Park School Site Manager answered: “Yes, I would, and I would gladly act as a point of reference for the system and the company – I’m that happy with it.”
Summing up, Mr. David Jones commented:
“It’s a very good product and we’re seriously considering switching more boiler rooms to HeatingSave on the future, provided it passes the test of time and keeps on working as well as it did up until now.”
Wheatley Park School
Phone: +44 (0)1865 872441
Fax +44 (0)1865 874712