Chafyn Grove School, an independent day and boarding preparatory school in Salisbury, has more than halved its annual costs for gas and electricity. Yearly bills have been reduced from £55,000 to £27,000 following the progressive installation of Blue ID BMS (building management system) technology from Priva.
“The main reason for the BMS upgrade was to renew inefficient boiler controls, to give better user comfort and reduce gas usage,” states Toby White, Estates Bursar, Health and Safety Officer at Chafyn Grove School. “We reached out to local company Novac Control Systems and they recommended Priva Blue ID.”
Very few controls were in place at Chafyn Grove previously. Some room thermostats had been installed, but all were very basic and, consequently, the system was deemed inefficient. Often classrooms were too hot, with windows left open to vent heat.
“While we wanted energy savings, we also wanted better control to ensure the comfort of pupils and staff,” says Mr White. “In addition, it would be great to have a system that was easy enough to operate so that we could shut the heating down over the school holidays.”
On the subject of school holidays, a principal stipulation of the project was that all installation work had to take place out of term time. It was therefore scheduled for the work to take place progressively, building by building, over a period of years beginning in 2013 to minimise disruption and avoid placing too much strain on budgets.
Priva Blue ID is simple to install. The system’s hardware consists of a base on which individual functional modules, containing all mission-critical components, can be installed. Wiring takes place on the base, which is robust and insensitive to failures.
“Previously, we had 10 separate gas meters servicing 10 separate buildings,” explains Mr White. “Since July 2013, six of these have been upgraded with Priva controls. We still have more buildings to upgrade, but they are smaller and use less gas, so the priority is lower.”
The results of the upgrade to date have been extremely impressive, with gas and electricity consumption, and overall energy bills, reduced considerably. With regard to gas, usage has reduced from 6,500 kWh/heating degree days in 2012-13, to 4,400 in 2016-17, a 32% reduction. Indeed, the school is on track to improve this percentage even further in 2017-18.
In terms of combined gas and electricity consumption, Chafyn Grove has witnessed a reduction from 1,850,000 kWh in 2012-13, to 1,150,000 in 2016-17, a 38% reduction. Perhaps most impressively of all, with respect to financial savings, the school has seen a reduction from £55,000 per annum, to £27,000 in the period from 2013 to 2017.
“Yes, gas, electricity and waste disposal have all been reduced,” concludes Mr White. “The figures speak for themselves; we are very happy.”