Whitefriars sheltered housing scheme is two miles from the centre of the city of Cambridge, and is managed by Cambridge City Council. The 20 one-bedroom and two-bedroom flats house older residents and include mobility standard properties. The complex is run by non-resident management staff who are on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The scheme is situated so it is within walking distance of local amenities, while Addenbrooke’s hospital and the train station are easily accessible by bus.
Whitefriars’ heating requirements are served by two gas fired Vaillant Ecotec Plus boilers. Cambridge City Council’s Home Energy Officer, Sam Griggs said: “Housing schemes are expensive to heat, particularly with gas prices being at an all-time high”.
Cambridge City Council wanted the most efficient method possible of heating Whitefriars and also the ability to regulate the temperature for all the communal areas. Sam explained, “Heating areas with older people can be very costly. The temperature of the communal areas and corridors was running at between 22°c and 23°c, and the idea was to reduce this and have much better control”.
After speaking to a HeatingSave representative, the staff of Cambridge City Council began to appreciate how HeatingSave could significantly improve the efficiency and energy savings of their central heating system, which was recommended by the Building Research Establishment for the Greenhouse Project run by Huntingdonshire District Council. A HeatingSave Energy Management System was subsequently installed at the Whitefriars sheltered housing scheme in the early autumn of 2010. No problems were encountered during the installation of either the hardware or software.
Particularly suitable for multiple-room dwellings, HeatingSave’s mathematical heat loss algorithm constantly learns the heat loss profile of the Whitefriars building, and then fires up the boilers at the very last moment, to ensure the complex is making gas bill savings of up to one-third. “It means the rooms are warm for when you want them” commented Sam to the HeatingSave reporter. The set-up is so versatile that they can change a room temperature requirement continuously over a day, giving Whitefriars’ management 100% control of the heating it requires.
“Our maintenance manager can now control communal areas and corridors from his desk” said Sam, “Our HeatingSave system also has an occupancy sensor in the main lounge area that will boost the temperature when more than two occupants are present.” added Sam. He also described how Cambridgeshire City Council were initially attracted to HeatingSave because it had been approved by Government agencies like the Carbon Trust and the Department for Energy and Climate Change to save on heating bills and reduce the carbon footprint of local authorities.
When asked what he liked most about the HeatingSave system, Sam replied “Saving the council money on its heating and the additional control are the main points. Also the fact that we can now identify maintenance issues without having to attend site whilst contributing towards our carbon reduction targets.”
Sam said that he was looking forward to making savings in winter, which is just around the corner. With gas prices already shooting up for the cold season he feels that the Whitefriars sheltered housing scheme is well placed to make savings whilst still keeping residents comfortable. Summing up his experience of HeatingSave Sam concluded: “assuming HeatingSave carries on performing as well as it has done so far, and because of the very reasonable price, we will be looking to roll HeatingSave out to our other sheltered housing schemes.“
Whitefriars sheltered housing scheme
C/o Cambridge City Council
Tel: 01223 314800