A teacher friend called me recently after she read an article on our involvement with Southwold Primary School and EDF Energy in East London.
“Your fancy gadget paid for two extra full-time teachers?!” she said, “How did you do that?” she asked.
So I told her:
In September 2009, we installed a t-mac system at the school which monitored energy indicators such as room temperature, the flow and return of boiler temperatures and lux levels. This ensured the school was able to control systems that used a lot of energy such as their lighting, mains electricity, mains gas and the boiler through an interactive dashboard that made sure the meter readings did not exceed pre-set levels.
One of the other benefits of implementing the control system was the introduction of frost protection to the school’s boiler system, where the t-mac device reacts by bringing a dormant boiler back to life before it reaches critical temperatures. Frost protecting the boiler made sure that the boiler did not freeze during cold nights by simply monitoring the room temperature and turning the boiler system back on when necessary, even if it had already been switched off by a timer.
For the pupils and teachers at Southwold School, this turned out to be an early Christmas present!
With the winter that we had at the end of last year, the frost protection system made sure the school avoided falling victim to a broken heating system. Unfortunately other businesses across the UK with insufficient prevention systems in place weren’t so lucky.
The savings gained through our t-mac system brought significant financial benefits to the school (namely a 35 per cent saving on their energy bills in just 10 months) and achieved another aim of showcasing the importance of energy management through a custom-made AMR dashboard to the kids. They were able to visualise the energy they were actually using whilst they were using it.
Teachers at Southwold Primary School were able to demonstrate and talk through the benefits of energy management and the positive impact it had on their school.
It seemed my friend was certainly inspired by the benefits to both her school and her pupils. She also asked me if I had a gadget to help her control her pupils as easily!
It’s important to start early and raise awareness of energy saving amongst young people and the future generation. The energy we use and the way we live our lives now is a far cry away from when myself and my teacher friend were at school, just 20 to 30 years ago.
It is now vital that children from a young age realise the importance of conserving energy and understanding exactly how we get the most out of the energy we use.