With bills on the rise, this project is to look for savings in energy use. Preferably savings here are in the category of a saving tip or possibly something small in What Can I Do? For domestic properties we’ve looked into energy saving here too.
The first thing is to look at whether there are any ways of saving energy in the Church and Parish Centre without adversely affecting comfort levels from previous years. Further savings would be possible if we choose to lower the temperatures further.
The Main Church is controlled from a weekly timer. The Lady Chapel heating is on a separate circuit controlled from its own timer. At present the Main Church controller is in the off position.
Settings on the controller (which were probably from last year) show times that are not completely consistent with the services. Controls are ON/OFF with no separate temperature regulation. Analysis will be needed to understand when the heating needs to be switched on prior to a service (and also how many minutes before a service ends the heating should it be switched off). Simply by making the start and stop times with the shortest acceptable setting last year would take the heating on duration down from 21 hours and 15 minutes to 16 hours and 30 minutes per week. It is likely that the heating was on full blast for the entire duration when on and if this were so then we could save around 20% just from this change.
Keeping the glass doors to the entrance and to the Lady Chapel closed would reduce the air changes and this would help conserve heat, especially when the heating is on. Perhaps notices on the doors to remind people to keep the heat in would help.
The main church radiators are set all down the left and right aisle exterior walls of the church. There are also ancient under-floor radiator grilles along the main central aisle. Perhaps parishioners may wish to know where the wal mounted radiators are in case they wish to sit next to one? The radiators are mounted against the exterior (solid) wall and so some heat from the radiators is being lost unnecessarily through the wall. A relatively easy change would be to add a good quality radiator reflector foil behind the radiators so that the we don’t waste energy heating up a cold wall and there is more available to heat the church. The merits of this will be explored soon.
The Parish Centre boiler is controlled from a weekly timer in the store room. This is used for the main hall. Notices in rooms 1 and 2 ask people to use the electric radiators in the rooms instead of relying on the central heating. At present the controller is in the AUTO position (following pre-programmed timer). Settings on the controller are not consistent with the room bookings. Controls are ON/OFF with no separate temperature regulation. Analysis is needed to understand when the heating should be switched on (how many minutes before the booking should we switch on the heating) and similarly when can the heating be switched off (how many minutes before the end of the booking can the boiler be switched off. Initial feedback suggests this is 30 to 40 minutes. Simply by making the start and stop times coincide with the hall bookings shifted by 30 minutes to allow time to warm up, gives the proposed heating on duration of 70 hours per month from 115 hours per month. Gas savings assuming the boiler is on all the time would amount to 39% however it is likely that the saving would be less than this as the hall gets to temperature fairly easily. We could save around 30% from this change. The programmer is a weekly programmmer not a monthly one so it would need to be regularly reprogrammed and this may require more effort
Insulation. There are a number of ceiling panels open at the moment allowing a view of the fibreglass loft insulation. It is 150mm thick and this is not particularly thick these days. Furthermore, some is in poor condition with large gaps in quite a number of places. Heat can escape through these gaps straight into the ventilated roof space. A thicker layer would be beneficial as would closing up the gaps in the existing fibreglass. It is recommended that the ceiling insulation be placed back.
We will keep you updated on the status of the project here.
If you have any questions or suggestions, you can leave a comment below or use the contact page on the website and quote “energy saving project” in the form. Many thanks.