Cambridgeshire Fire Headquarters cuts heating costs via HeatingSave

Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service serve the county of Cambridgeshire, which has a population of around 650,000 people. The county Fire Service Headquarters is in Huntingdon, a ‘whole time’ station (crewed 24 hours per day, 7 days per week), running a network of 28 stations. The HQ houses a conventional gas boiler system which provides the heating to the building.

The East of England is projected to be the second fastest growing English Region in terms of population increase between now and 2031, with Cambridgeshire expanding at a higher rate than the region as a whole. The county needs to run its fire services as efficiently as possible as a consequence, so it must get the best deal available out of its heating overheads in a time when gas prices high and likely to rise further.

The county fire service property manager based at Fire Service HQ in Huntingdon, Clive Stevens, was investigating how Cambridgeshire Fire could install a boiler and heating management system in a number of the fire stations in order to save energy. “I was looking for some type of Energy Management System that would automatically turn on the heating when the site is in use,” he explained.

After discussions and a demonstration from a HeatingSave representative, a HeatingSave Building Energy Management System was installed in February 2010. The HeatingSave system, which replaced the existing traditional time clock, contains at his heart a computer running a mathematical tool which every day calculates the heat-loss-profile of the station and how it can make the heating regime more efficient and save money.

HeatingSave counts the minutes each day it switches on and off Huntingdon HQ’s boiler or switches on and off the immersion. This is to prove it is saving money over the existing time clock. The longer it has been installed, the more it saves as the microprocessor continually refines its mathematical thermal algorithm of the property.

HeatingSave also keeps Fire Brigade staff comfortable by effectively regulating the background temperature according to how the headquarters is used. HeatingSave monitors both the inside and outside temperatures of the building, so it can compensate for seasonal heating variations. HeatingSave estimate that they have reduced the fuel consumption of Huntingdon Fire Station by at least 25%, given like-for-like weather conditions.

Clive’s verdict on the user-friendly nature of the HeatingSave system was, “It is straightforward and easy to use.” He has had to call the HeatingSave help desk and his view of the service was “very good. No problems at all.”

Fire and Rescue Services throughout the UK, who are in for a torrid time this winter – tariffs from half the energy giants have already shot up, and more likely to follow in the New Year – could follow the example set by Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service; rest assured that they could make savings from their 2010 budget by cutting waste in heating costs when managing any reductions in public sector spending.

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