Welwyn St Mary’s Primary School takes children from ages 4 to 11. Built originally in 1940 as a secondary school, St Mary’s is a large school with spacious buildings and grounds. In addition to big classrooms the school has a gym, two libraries, a computer suite, a hall with stage and a music room. The school has a strong tradition for success in the Arts and Sport and have specialist teachers in Music, French and P.E.
In 2009 the school was reviewing the ever increasing cost of running the school including the heating costs. 8 gas fired boilers heat the school radiators and convector heaters,and also provide hot water. Four of the boilers are made by Hanworthy and are on a common head, whilst the four other heating systems use two MHS Strata and two Glowworm boilers each.
After hearing about HeatingSave on a BBC news program, Mr Bill Morris one of the school governors contacted HeatingSave to see if they could help run the heating more efficiently. Site manager, Ken Marshall, explained that the objective was “to understand what was going on with so many boilers and to save money and be more efficient”.
A series of five networked HeatingSave systems were installed at the school in February 2010. This network includes a PC system that runs the high-level software. The use of the PC enables each heating system to be managed and controlled by the staff to match heating demand to the school usage. Ken explained that HeatingSave was selected because “it looked to be the best on the market”. He also added that the advantage of HeatingSave over its competitors was that “HeatingSave automatically manages the heating, using the least amount of fuel, whilst other systems could only monitor what was going on by using Smart Metering; but still required you to make manual adjustments.”
No major problems were encountered with the installation of the HeatingSave controllers, although there were some minor problems with the lack of documentation of the old control system. There were no problems with the installation of the software.
Ken Marshall was trained on site in the use of the new system. “I had basic training, and lots of help over the phone” explained Ken, who described the quality of the training as “good”. He told the HeatingSave reporter that he was initially worried that he had not had enough training. However, with help over the telephone from the HeatingSave HelpDesk everything has ”worked out OK”.
Ken particularly likes the HeatingSave diary where he can schedule the heating of different areas from his PC. “I use this a lot for late nights and lettings”, he said. Asked what he liked most about HeatingSave, Ken said “I like the fact that I can see what is happening around a very large school. I look at the graphs most days to see what happened and what’s happening right now. I like the fact I can change the settings from my office and not have to walk around eight boilers.”
Ken says he is not an expert on HeatingSave yet but is happy to learn something new most days. He particularly likes the ease in which he can see what’s happening and react quickly if required, and that he can do all of this from his PC.
Ken described the quality of service of the HeatingSave HelpDesk as “always very helpful and very patient”, and the general level of service from HeatingSave as “Very good, keep it up”.
Ken said that the school is considering extending HeatingSave to control lights and monitor water usage.
When asked if he would recommend HeatingSave to other schools, Ken said “its still very early days for us but yes as of this time I would recommend HeatingSave” and summing up HeatingSave in a few words he concluded ”It’s a good system does what they said it would. It saves me a lot of time and they are nice guys to work with – Thanks”
Welwyn St. Mary’s Church of England Primary School.
15 London Road, Welwyn, Herts. AL6 9DJ
Telephone: 01438 714169