We helped Octavia Housing to cut heat tariffs in half at Elizabeth House, and generate an average saving of £128 each year for residents using Guru Pinpoint
“Energy and heating can be an invisible cost for social landlords as we take on the role of heat suppliers. Guru has helped us to understand how to make our heating network more efficient, minimise costs for our tenants and support those at risk of fuel poverty.”
Consultant Development Manager, Octavia Housing
Elizabeth House in Wembley is a new build, 13-storey apartment block, comprising of 115 flats. It was completed in 2013 for Octavia Housing, a London-based housing association. All of the apartments are connected to a heating network that supplies tenants with heat and hot water.
As both the landlord and energy supplier, Octavia Housing sets the tariff for supplying heat. In most cases landlords will set tariffs based on the expected performance of the system, which means that if initial assumptions are inaccurate the landlord could lose money every time a tenant turns on the heating.
The Guru system used in Elizabeth House provides the landlord with real-time data of how well the network is functioning, while the ‘Hub’ in each dwelling provides tenants with details of their individual usage. The Hub also works as a pre-pay device and smart meter.
The purpose of this project was to improve the performance of the heat network as a whole for both tenants and landlord by trialling the use of the web-based Guru Pinpoint platform. This formed part of a wider project funded by the UK’s Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC).
At the beginning of the trial in 2015, Octavia Housing reported higher than expected energy costs for heat generation and pumping as well as overheating in corridors and flats. Octavia Housing was looking for opportunities to reduce standing charges and unit cost to tenants as well as the financial risks of having to estimate the cost of supplying heat.
Guru Pinpoint ‘learns’ from the realtime stream of data coming from meters installed throughout the network. Data on the volume of gas used by the power plant, the power consumed by pumps, the flow rates and temperatures throughout the network and the heat being consumed by each household.
For this project Pinpoint was used to identify where and how the network could be improved, focusing
• The efficiency of the plant room
• Network losses
The analytics and diagnostics delivered by Guru Pinpoint provided the information required to implement improvements to the Elizabeth House network. These changes resulted in:
· 68% reduction in network heat loss
· 4°C reduction in corridor ceiling void temperatures (where piping is located)
· 80% cost saving in pump room energy
Together these have resulted in significant savings for residents. Over the course of the project, the energy tariff for residents reduced from 7.7p to 3.8p per kwh.
Guru Pinpoint delivered the data and insight that enabled Octavia Housing to reduce the overall cost of heating for Elizabeth House tenants. In addition the housing association has reduced the risk of fuel poverty amongst tenants, reduced overhead costs and reduced CO2.