The 26 properties in St Mary’s Court and communal areas were previously heated largely by 2kW night storage heaters with a total energy output of 12kW per apartment. Hot water was supplied by one of thirteen immersion heaters. Tendring DC was concerned with the ageing hot water system and the inconsistency of the water temperature for its residents, not only for their comfort and convenience, but also with the associated risk of legionella bacteria developing, which meant it needed regular review. The existing ageing system was a financial drain on residents due to its inefficiency, and on the council due to increasing repair costs. Being a sheltered scheme, there were additional challenges around safeguarding and access.
The cost of bringing a gas supply to the building or installing air source heat pumps, in addition to the complications regarding Legionella risk reduction, made these options prohibitively expensive. DSA Electrical’s solution was to install small individual water tanks to each property with an electric shower and Herschel Infrared ceiling heaters to properties and communal areas.
The team undertook a 14 month trial with a resident in a similar development to St Mary’s Court over two winters to monitor energy bills and gauge the proposed scheme’s effect on energy savings and resident comfort. Six Herschel Select white panels were ceiling mounted throughout the apartment, at a total wattage of 3.75kW compared to the 12kW previous power requirement. The heaters were controlled by a programmable thermostat which the resident generally set to 22⁰.
The trial revealed a 30% reduction in the tenant’s energy bills, amounting to a massive £250 annual saving. The resident involved was delighted not only with the ease of control and comfort of warmth, but also with the extra room created by replacing the old storage heaters with ultra-slim ceiling panels. The panels are more attractive than the old storage heaters, require little maintenance, do not leak and require no annual check. On the basis of the trial’s success, the solution was rolled out across the whole of St Mary’s Court.
“At Tendring District Council the safety and comfort of our residents is paramount, but like all Local Authorities, budgetary constraints are a real issue. Working with DSA Electrical and Herschel Infrared Heating we were able deliver an affordable cost effective solution to providing our residents with warm, safe and economical accommodation. We and our residents are delighted with the result, and we look forward to establishing the longer term economic benefits after a year or so of use.”