In late 2021, the decision was taken to replace the inefficient old boiler and to fit software and hardware solutions to allow for the heating to be controlled remotely.
‘The old system was no longer fit for purpose,’ said property manager Stuart Smith. ‘The church is quite large, and in use most days at various times. During colder weather, that meant one of us driving to and from the church regularly to set the boiler to come on an hour and a half before a service or a hire. That would happen even if there was a cancellation – which meant we were heating an empty building.
It’s early days but I expect us to use at least 15% less gas, which means lower emissions – not to mention cutting out the CO2 from driving to and from the church.
‘Later it would need resetting – otherwise it would come on at the same time the following week, when, again, the church might well be empty. With the best will in the world, people forget and so we could find ourselves burning gas unnecessarily.
‘The previous boiler wasted heat by throwing it out into the atmosphere – the flue was too hot to touch – but the new one is extremely efficient. I can also turn it on and off from my laptop, and we also have a simple button which offers groups using any of the four zones of the building the option to enable anywhere from one to four hours of operation, shutting down automatically after the time has elapsed.
‘It’s early days but I expect us to use at least 15% less gas, which means lower emissions – not to mention cutting out the CO2 from driving to and from the church. Additionally, our bills will obviously not rise by as much as they otherwise would have.’
Stuart said the church was ‘excited’ to have won – and the prize money is going to be spent on more energy-efficient and attractive LED lighting to replace the old fluorescent tubes.