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Switch2 case studies

We have an impressive track record of implementing and improving community heating schemes. But we don’t just get them working… We help make them profitable. We help residents to understand and appreciate their scheme. We help to improve energy efficiency. We make community heating a success for everyone – as our case studies show:

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Sheffield City Council – Tenants set to save more than £1.4 million due to PAYG flexibility

The customer

Sheffield City Council (SCC) is the city council for the metropolitan borough of Sheffield in South Yorkshire, England.

Sheffield is home to a district heating scheme which provides energy to 6,000 residential dwellings across the city. 1,000 of these are supplied from a low carbon energy source generated from Sheffield’s non-recyclable waste, and the other 5,000 dwellings are supplied from gas and biomass.

The challenge

SCC was undertaking a major upgrade of the heating systems in 6,000 of their residential properties fed by 135 plant rooms linked to the district heat network across the city. SCC required an experienced company to provide the new hardware and install this into their properties.

A thousand of these properties were currently utilising pay-as-you-go (PAYG) energy technology, and were already receiving and paying for their heating on a metered basis while the others were receiving an unmetered supply and were paying for their heating on a flat rate system. This meant residents paid a set weekly amount irrespective of how much they used. From the available data and customer feedback SCC was confident it could deliver cost savings to residents by installing meters and rolling out PAYG energy technology to the properties on a flat rate.

SCC held steering groups to run through the options and ensure the customers supported the transition to PAYG. The feedback was very positive with existing users speaking highly of the cost savings achieved and flexibility offered from the service.

Solution

Switch2 was awarded the project after successfully demonstrating our experience, expertise and knowledge in metering and prepayment for district heating schemes through an intensive tender process.

The scope of the project was to supply and install 6,000 heat meters and our G6 prepayment system across 120 sites. The G6 unit suited the project as it has the flexibility to operate in PAYG or credit billing mode.

The project included:

  • Engagement with residents, starting with an initial meeting informing them of work content and time scales
  • Installation and commissioning of the G6 PAYG unit
  • Ongoing G6 data administration
  • Design and development of a standalone billing software package, allowing SCC to manage and administer their own billing accounts
  • Our dedicated project team understand the important relationship between the hardware installation, provision of metering and billing services and the control and maintenance of communal energy systems.

To ensure smooth and seamless project delivery we appointed locally based Resident Liaison Officers. Their role includes:

  • Availability to provide support to customers
  • Door-to-door home visits prior to installation, both in and out of working hours
  • Attending local resident meetings and information days
  • Meeting the language diversity of Sheffield where possible with multilingual officers

Outcome

To date 2,800 installations have taken place with all 6,000 set to be complete by March 2017. The project has been run and managed effectively and the customers are enjoying the benefits of their new PAYG system.

Figures released by SCC from the first 227 homes on the new system for a full year, show that households are saving an average of £238 on their heating bills per year. Furthermore to this council tenants are expected to save more than £1.4 million from their annual heating bills. Switch2 is working very closely with Sheffield City Council throughout this project. SCC is pleased with the cost savings the new metered system is providing to its customers.

“I am very happy with the new meter and it is costing me less to heat my home.”
James & Debbie, Pedley Estate, Sheffield

“Heat metering gives customers greater choice over the amount of heat they take and therefore the size of their heating bills. Used sensibly we anticipate customers will have the potential to make real savings in their heating bills in the future.”
Stephen Parker, Sheffield City Council

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Parkside, Family Mosaic – Providing accurate bills to residents

The customer

Family Mosaic provide good quality, affordable homes to rent and buy, as well as care and support services to thousands of people who need extra support.

They have around 24,000 homes for rent and serve more than 45,000 people which makes them one of the largest housing providers in London, Essex and the South East.

The challenge

Family Mosaic was undergoing a huge regeneration project in Lewisham. The new ‘Parkside’ scheme will eventually comprise of 1,192 new homes and will be spread over a 6 phase period.

Family Mosaic are working in partnership with London Borough of Lewisham to regenerate the 1950s and 60s homes of the former Heathside and Lethbridge estate, with existing Council tenants having the option to move into the new homes once they are built. The Parkside scheme has been developed with a communal heating system.

Throughout 2012-13, 328 households moved into phase 1 and 2 of the scheme. With an energy metering system in place Family Mosaic hired a billing partner to take meter readings and provide bills to residents on their behalf. However, problems occurred when the company failed to take meter readings and eventually stopped supplying bills. This was disruptive and unhelpful to residents and Family Mosaic decided they needed to look for a new supplier to resolve the issues.

The solution

After building a successful working relationship with Family Mosaic on other schemes Switch2 were brought in to turn the scheme around. Switch2 quickly took to investigating the problem.

The site has 2 phases which have an independent boiler house feeding each of them. In each of the boiler houses there is a central reading unit which was supplied and implemented by the previous supplier. In phase one the system appeared to be running correctly although bills were not being produced.

In phase 2, which is the larger of the two phases, the system was not working. It had also been left in a very poor state of installation. The wiring was not contained and there were several different units haphazardly left installed.

Switch2 surveyed both phases of the project and proposed to rectify the system by the following methods:

  • Remove all the equipment previously installed and tidy up cabling in the area
  • Link out the wiring to make a continuation of the M-Bus loop
  • Take GPRS signal levels to ascertain the best position of the new GPRS data collector
  • Install and fully test the new equipment and start producing bills in a timely manner

While the survey took place all legacy billing information was sent to the Switch2 consumer accounts team to enable them to start to build up the database, link meter reads to residents and calculate legacy bills to start to get the scheme back on track.

The outcome

After only six weeks of the billing contract being signed the Switch2 team had sent out the first monthly bills to residents. The bills gave detailed information about consumption, meter reads and the balance due. Since October 2014 the residents have received a monthly bill from Switch2 and most of the outstanding balances have been recovered.

Craig Robinson, Head of Property Accounts, Family Mosaic:

“The Parkside scheme is a huge regeneration project split over 6 phases. After being let down by a previous supplier, who sent out inaccurate bills and eventually failed to supply bills at all, we engaged with Switch2. They are experienced, professional and had dealt with legacy issues on schemes before. Since taking over the billing on the scheme residents are receiving regular accurate bills. Residents are pleased to be receiving the bills on a regular timely basis and this helps with their budgeting as it makes them aware of usage.”

Switch2 are now operating 15 schemes with over 1,200 properties on behalf of Family Mosaic and are their partner of choice for metering and billing services.

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Kirklees Neighbourhood Housing – Addressing fuel poverty and carbon reduction through PAYG energy

The customer

Kirklees Neighbourhood Housing (KNH) is a not-for-profit company set up by Kirklees Council to provide and manage housing services.

The challenge

KNH embarked on a borough-wide energy and cost saving project to help residents to reduce fuel bills and carbon dioxide emissions. KNH’s 1032 homes are spread across 25 individual schemes throughout the Kirklees borough. This means a traditional energy pre-payment scheme involving small numbers of residents purchasing credit from local shops was not practical or viable. In addition, KNH was looking for more than a payment system; they wanted residents to be actively involved in managing their energy more efficiently – to help eradicate fuel poverty and achieve a smaller carbon footprint.

Solution

KNH selected Switch2 based on their experience and expertise in this area. Switch2 developed a new state-of-the-art pay as you go system for the project.

The new G6 system provides a fair and accurate billing process for both pay-as-you-go and credit billing consumers. It incorporates an in-home display unit that lets customers see, in graphical form, how much energy they are consuming, when they are using it, how much it is costing them and how much credit they have available. This facility, which complies with the Code for Sustainable Homes, makes it easier for residents to budget and to monitor and manage their energy usage, helping them to reduce consumption and costs. The pay-as-you-go element works much like topping up a mobile phone, using smart wireless technology to replace the traditional token-based pre-payment system.

Outcome

Since the roll-out of the G6 technology began, residents in Kirklees have reduced overall energy consumption by 15%, but when winter consumption is factored in and residents get used to the system, KNH predicts that the annual average consumption will reduce by 30 to 50%.

“The key to reducing energy consumption is being able to see what you are using,” said Barry

Goodwin, Procurement Project Manager. “With the economy of scale of supplying heat via a district heat network, we already provide lower cost heat, but now that residents can track how much energy they are using and are taking action to reduce consumption, annual heating bills, including winter consumption, could average £5 per week. Heating bills for a similar sized property would cost approximately 60% more if residents were purchasing gas or electricity from one of the big suppliers.”

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First Choice Homes Oldham (FCHO) – tackling fuel poverty

The customer

Oldham Metropolitan Council’s Arm’s Length Management Organisation (ALMO), First Choice Homes Oldham (FCHO), was created in April 2002 to manage council owned properties across Oldham Metropolitan Borough. They now provide services to over 15,500 council tenants and leaseholders in Oldham.

The challenge

Residents living in council housing in Oldham were paying higher energy bills simply because their property does not have heat metering and controls in place. Instead each resident has no choice but to pay a fixed weekly charge irrespective of their individual consumption. The weekly charge can be more than double that of what it would be given if they were on a controlled system with a metered supply. With soaring heating costs putting some residents into fuel poverty, FCHO realised they needed to address this issue by installing meters into the properties.

Solution

Committed to their pledge to eradicate fuel poverty in the area, FCHO selected Switch2 to supply, install and maintain heating controls and energy meters across 2,000 properties in the Oldham area. Switch2’s purpose built consumer control panel acts as a metering point for heat and incorporates the necessary equipment to provide the residents with control over their heating and domestic hot water.

Switch2 used an innovative radio automatic meter reading (AMR) system, which has been chosen for its versatility and suitability for a city-wide network. Meters will be read remotely removing the need to enter the resident’s property. This system ensures that they only pay for the energy they have consumed.

Switch2 are also responsible for the maintenance of the dwellings internal systems including the radiators and domestic hot water cylinders, and a guaranteed response time has been agreed with FCHO should any problems arise. A billing and administration service will also form part of Switch2’s total metering solution.

Outcome

Switch2 are proactively supporting fuel poverty alleviation initiatives and in Oldham have brought together a package, which enables residents to access affordable, controllable warmth. The system is simple to use and the residents have the peace of mind that they have access to a call-out service in the event of a problem.

Fuel bills for the 2,000 households have been cut by up to 60%. Following the installation of retrofitting ‘smart’ heat metering systems and consumer control panels, our consumer accounts team can confirm that after taking seasonal factors and degree days into consideration, some residents who previously paid over £60 a month in heating have seen figures drop to below £25.

Martin Latham, Heating Manager for FCHO commented:
“It was clear right away that Switch2’s systems would result in reduced fuel costs for the vast majority of tenants but, critically, it would also introduce real fairness. For the first time, tenants would be in control and manage their fuel usage themselves. Within 3 months of installation of the Switch2 system, results show a substantial reduction in fuel costs for the vast majority of tenants and it has also introduced real fairness as well as comfort levels across the sites.”

Oldham_Case_Study

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WDH – PAYG system offers residents energy control

The Customer

WDH manages more than 31,000 homes across Wakefield and invests in new build homes in the city.

The Challenge

WDH needed to upgrade heating controls to allow residents to correctly control the system and only pay for the energy they use.

Solution

WDH partnered with Switch2 to deliver a district-wide upgrade of district heating properties including:

  • Upgrade heating controls
  • Charging mechanism enabling residents to only pay for what they use
  • Replacement of any previous system in operation
  • Administration of the G6 (pay-as-you-go) system
  • Data provider for installed AMR meters
  • Supply meter readings to WDH to enable them to accurately bill the residents
  • Resident liaison to ensure they were on board, faced minimal disruption and were communicated to at all times

The new systems provide a fair and accurate billing process for both pay-as-you-go and credit billing consumers and replaces existing technology which can be up to 30 years old. This technology presented a major lifestyle change for many residents, some of whom had used the previous system since it was installed and were reluctant to change.

In order to engage with residents, Switch2 also became involved in the local community, contributing funding to the newly formed five-a-side football team, which sought to reduce anti-social behaviour and social tensions, at one site that was identified as a particularly difficult community and potential risk on project success. This helped form a positive impression across the community of Switch2 and the work being undertaken.

Outcome

The partnership resident involvement strategy provided a number of scheme advocates of local standing who continued to support their communities in adapting to the new system. The successes of the partnership have been realised across all sites with an increased system understanding and improved efficiencies with a reduction in overall site main gas consumption of up to 28% for some sites.

“Our residents on pay-as-you-go (PAYG) and credit billing are benefiting from the new, easy to use system. The G6 is a huge improvement on the previous outdated systems that were in place. The functionality of the G6 offers residents more information which puts them in control of their heating through access to consumption graphs and charts. With PAYG customers being able to see their credit status and top up easily, is a vast improvement and much more convenient. The new metered system is flexible and enables residents to budget better and potentially make savings on their heating bills.”

Karl Slater, Revenue Accountant, WDH

Wakefield_Case_study (1)

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Royal Arsenal, Woolwich – Heating and metering solution delivers cost and carbon reduction

The Customer

The Royal Arsenal, created by developers Berkeley Homes, is a mixed urban development and forms part of an entire regeneration of a historic riverside location in Woolwich, South East London.

The Challenge

The 76-arce site will form a whole new neighbourhood, comprising a vibrant, thriving and sustainable community with a mix of commercial, residential and leisure facilities, to be completed in 2015. Berkeley Homes required a partner who could manage and maintain the heating and hot water supplied to the 755 mixed tenure apartments.

Solution

Switch2 contracted with Berkeley Homes to act as service provider for the scheme. Switch2 supplied the metering equipment and consumer interface units and worked closely with Berkeley Homes in developing a bespoke Automatic Meter Reading (AMR) system for the development.

The contract is wide ranging and includes:

  • Utilities procurement
  • Operation and maintenance of the plant and heating infrastructure
  • Meter reading
  • Billing
  • Credit control and debt management
  • Provision of scheme administration services

The contract also covers the management of a long-term capital replacement fund. Switch 2 has placed special emphasis on providing efficient reporting channels and maintenance systems, always key factors in residential developments.

Residents can contact Switch2 via a first line service centre, or use an internet-based service that allows residents and buy-to-let investors manage their accounts and monitor their energy consumption. The package also brings together Switch2’s extensive experience in operation, billing and maintenance of communal energy schemes.

Outcome

The widely acclaimed development at the Royal Arsenal site with its mixture of refurbished listed buildings and bold, modern architecture has transformed and re-vitalised one of the most deprived areas of London.

At the Royal Arsenal site Switch2 has worked closely with the client to optimise fuel use. Competitive procurement and advanced measurement and metering systems are capable of reducing residents’ utility bills by as much as a third.

Sustainability has been at the heart of every aspect of the Royal Arsenal scheme, aiming to reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions. For the new properties Energy A5* SAP rating between 92 and 94 has been achieved.

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Titanic Mill, Huddersfield – ESCo solution reduces CO2

The Customer

Titanic Mill is located in the tranquil Colne Valley, in the heart of Pennine Yorkshire. The renovated mill is now a mix of residential apartments, holiday lets and a state of the art spa retreat.

The Challenge

Mill Energy Services, an energy service company (ESCo), was set up to manage the demand and supply of energy at Titanic Mill, Huddersfield.

In response to the challenge of climate change, the developer of Titanic Mill, Lowry Renaissance Ltd, worked with Energy for Sustainable Development Ltd (ESD) to make the apartments carbon neutral (on a net annual basis) and to minimise carbon emissions from the ground floor spaces.

Solution

Switch2 were contracted to supply and commission secondary metering systems for electricity, heat, domestic hot and cold water and to supply a meter reading system to apportion usage on an equitable basis between the ground floor and individual domestic occupiers on the scheme, by installing an automatic meter reading system (AMR).

This data collection system talks to all the meters at predetermined intervals. Switch2 was also awarded a 5 year contract for system administration and billing of all utilities on the site.

The vision for Mill Energy Services is to be a ground-breaking, small-scale energy service company, demonstrating that a holistic approach to energy demand and supply can lead to the delivery of carbon neutral energy services to private sector domestic consumers on a commercially viable basis. To achieve this:

  • 50kWp Solar PV has been installed on the internal roof slopes on top of the building. The system will produce some 40,000kWh/year of electricity.
  • Biomass CHP, a system producing both heat (hot water) and power will be installed. From the feasibility work, the CHP system will have a capacity of around 100kWe (140kWth). It will produce approximately 0.8 GWh of electricity annually.
  • Back-up energy supply, gas back up boilers will be installed (600kWh) for use during times of peak heat demand and during down-time of the biomass CHP system.
  • The site will be connected to the local electricity from the biomass CHP system and to purchase electricity from an electricity supplier when demand on-site is high

Outcome

With Mill Energy Services operating successfully, it is estimated that around 400 tonnes of carbon dioxide in the residential accommodation and a possible further 200 tonnes of CO2 in the ground floor spaces will be saved annually

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Stratford Eye, London – Metering solution cuts utility bills

The Customer

Stratford Eye is a mixed tenure development of offices and apartments, overlooking the Olympics site in East London.

The Challenge

To boost London’s green credentials for the 2012 Olympics tri-generation technology was chosen to facilitate the building’s own cooling, heating and electricity.

Solution

ENER-G and Switch2 secured an all-inclusive 15 year contract which covers every aspect of energy management, from utilities procurement through to customer care, billing and maintenance. Tackling fuel poverty is critically important to developers, London and Quadrant (L&Q), and Switch2 has worked closely with the client to optimise fuel use.

The ENER-G combined cooling, heating and power (CHP) equipment will reduce the 19-storey building’s CO2 emissions by approximately 93 tonnes per annum – equivalent to the environmental benefits of a 36 hectare forest containing 14,000 trees. The CHP system is highly energy efficient as it recovers heat created in the electricity generation process. In conventional power stations this heat disappears into the atmosphere and is wasted. Instead, it is used to provide heating, cooling and hot water for the futuristic building.

Stratford Eye uses an ENER-G 110 natural gas powered reciprocating engine with a synchronous generator, electrical output of 110kWe and heat output of 181kWh.

The system additionally provides some 130kW of chilled water through an absorption chiller.

Outcome

Switch2 delivers a comprehensive utilities management programme that includes metering controls, cash collection and financial administration. The metering controls mean residents in all 160 apartments can cut their utility bills by up to 30 per cent, compared to an unmetered supply. Procurement of gas, water and electricity is also being provided by ENER-G.

ENER-G is the only energy business able to deliver this all-encompassing solution that covers everything from the community heating source and electricity supply through to smart-metering, negotiating competitive utility prices and managing cash flow.

Andy Withers, Project Manager of L&Q explains “Stratford Eye was a ground breaking scheme for L&Q, although not a planning requirement at the time we chose to specify a CHP system for environmental reasons. We were keen to ensure that the eco-friendliness of the system did not compromise affordability for our residents. We therefore worked closely with Switch2 to ensure that residents received value for money from the system, with tariffs comparing favourably to the normal utility providers.”

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Coventry University – End-to-end energy solution

The Customer

Coventry University has over 27,000 students and occupies a purpose-built 33-acre campus in the heart of Coventry city centre. The University is dedicated to providing a high quality, safe and healthy campus, with high standards of environmental responsibility.

The Challenge

The University campus previously had a central boiler house providing heating, cooling and hot water to the building complex. Consumption and costs were high with no clear understanding or metrics of where the energy was consumed.

Coventry University’s aim was to install a complete metering system which would allow them to monitor energy consumption on heating and cooling systems across the campus and provide cost centre apportionment, energy management, and automatic monitoring and targeting (aM&T) in compliance with government guidelines for energy conservation.

Solution

The University Estate Services team chose Switch2 for the project delivery based on our experience and our ability to design, supply, install and commission the complete solution.

The first phase consisted of the supply, installation and commissioning of 25 Landis & Gyr Ultraheat energy meters connected to an M-Bus automatic meter reading system (AMR). By using the internal telephone system and a modem, all individual meters are connected back to the energy office.

This enables the consumption to be monitored by the Energy Manager, on demand. The metering solution is flexible and can be expanded as and when new buildings are added.

Outcome

The success of this project has enabled Switch2 to work with the University on an ongoing expansion project over the next five years. Additional phases to the monitoring system have allowed it to expand with the inclusion of electric, gas and water meters. This way the overall utility consumption of the campus can be monitored allowing for action to be taken for consumption optimisation.

In 2009 Switch2 was able to upgrade the system by switching from internal telephone lines over to the University’s Ethernet LAN. The interfaces and modems have been replaced with TCP/IP addressable interfaces. This TCP/IP connectivity allows for faster access and a more stable network and it also enables the data gathered from the meter readings to be handled in a more efficient and manageable way. This is achieved through the direct transfer of data between the AMR system and the aM&T software.

Switch2 has provided a complete solution to meet the demands of the University where individual metering of buildings on widespread estate was required. As a result, essential utility data is supplied in a timely and cost effective manner with the meter readings being integrated into a proprietary energy management software package.

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HM Prison Service – AMR provides accurate meter service

The customer

The HM Prison Service keeps those sentenced to prison in custody, helping them lead law-abiding and useful lives, both while they are in prison and after they are released.

The challenge

The Prison Service is obligated to reduce energy consumption and meet set targets within their establishments.

Solution

HM Prison Ford required assistance to meet their energy targets. HM Prison Ford is a Category D establishment with an emphasis on resettlement. Formerly a Fleet Air Arm Station, it converted to an open prison in 1960. Switch2 has provided a total metering package to HM Prison Ford.

Utilising Automatic Meter Reading, (AMR), the system is monitoring more than 90 secondary meters for gas, electricity, water and heating. Due to the size of the site and sheer number of buildings, doors and locks standing between the meter reader and the meters, a radio AMR system solution was the obvious choice.

Outcome

The project has proven to be a success and has enabled essential energy data to be provided to prison management in a timely manner. Staff downtime has been saved by eliminating the need for them to take meter readings, which was always a challenge, particularly if the meter was behind a locked door.

On successful completion of the project, staff training was given by Switch2 to enable in-house management of the energy system.

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Gentoo, Sunderland – Successful resident engagement during upgrade

The customer

The Gentoo Group of companies, based in Sunderland, includes divisions operating in care and support services, construction, design, build and maintenance, environmental sustainability, solar panels and specialist glass, and property rental and sales. The Group’s ambition is to improve the lives of the people, communities and the environment in which they operate by investing in people, the planet and property.

The challenge

Gentoo needed to find a partner who could upgrade 11 boiler houses which were coming towards the end of their life. The age of the boiler houses was causing increased breakdowns, spare parts were becoming increasingly difficult to source and the boilers were inefficient causing higher gas bills and CO2 emissions.

Solution

Following an extensive selection process, Switch2 was chosen as the ideal partner to complete the upgrades, due to them being very experienced in this area as well as being able to provide excellent customer service to the residents throughout the process.

Switch2 delivered the boiler house upgrades on time and on budget, through a comprehensive project management team, with extensive technical expertise, experience and on-site knowledge.

Switch2 sought to put the needs of residents at the forefront of the upgrade; focusing on resident engagement through striving to minimise disruption and communicating and consulting residents at every step of the process.

By understanding the needs of Gentoo’s residents, who were in favour of the upgrade but wanted guarantees of reliable sources of heating throughout the works, Switch2 created a detailed project programme. This included the offsite manufacture of the boiler house and all components on a specially designed rig, to allow for quick installation onsite. The entire rig was fully tested, offsite, prior to delivery, thereby ensuring everything was fully tested and working from day one.

Ahead of commencing any work within the boiler house and with residents fully notified, Switch2 disconnected the existing boilers and connected a temporary boiler. This meant that residents experienced only a few hours of disruption and would continue to receive the services they would expect.

Outcome

Following the completion of the upgrades, Switch2 carefully monitored the comparative consumption of the boilers and found the newly upgraded boiler houses are delivering to Gentoo a cost saving of 22% and CO2 reduction of 234,000 tonnes of CO2. Also importantly the communication and consultation with residents was a success and received a 98% customer satisfaction rating.

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City House, Croydon – Helping residents cut fuel bills and carbon emissions

Customer

Fairview New Homes specialises in developing brownfield sites and derelict land to create attractive living environments. Their development, City House in Croydon, combines a mixture of privately owned, socially tenanted and shared ownership apartments and studios, and the development generates its own energy from wind turbines.

Challenge

The City House development required an energy metering service which would enable the accurate billing of the energy consumed by the residents.

Solution

Switch2 was selected by Fairview as the supplier for the metering service. The company is one of the UK’s largest suppliers of metering and billing technologies and services for multi-tenancy buildings. Metering technology from Switch2 provides residents with affordable and controllable warmth while creating environmental benefits through greater energy efficiency and carbon savings.

The company is operating energy-efficient intelligent metering for electricity, heating and hot water, system administration and an individualised billing service at the 319 unit residential and commercial complex.

Outcome

Residents at City House apartments are now benefiting from affordable, lower-carbon heating and hot water thanks to the advanced metering technology in place.

This is the first time that Switch2 has worked with Fairview, and energy-saving projects at two other Fairview developments are also in the pipeline.

Switch2 has evolved from a metering and maintenance operation, predominantly for local authority clients operating large district heating schemes, into total energy service provision. Its services include the design, installation and maintenance of green communal energy schemes for public and private sector clients.

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Bermondsey Spa – Complete energy solution

Customer

Hyde Housing in conjunction with Southwark Council, are creating a plan that could transform Bermondsey in the South East of London back into the vibrant neighbourhood of former years.

Challenge

Over a century ago, Bermondsey was a busy and densely populated area lined with rows of terraced houses and home to a successful leather industry. In 1999 Southwark Council decided to explore how it could use the land it owned around the Spa Road area to make sure that these changes benefited local residents.

Bermondsey Spa, as the project is now called, is being regenerated to deliver new and improved homes, shops, health centres, community facilities and open spaces for residents. The regeneration area spans approximately 50 acres divided into a number of development sites, some belonging to Southwark Council, others are privately owned.

The apartments at Bermondsey Spa are connected to a heating scheme served by a central boiler plant and Combined Heat and Power (CHP) engine. A metering service was required for the apartments.

Solution

Community energy experts, Switch2 has supplied heat interface units (HIU) and heating controls in each of the Bermondsey Spa apartments.

This purpose built control board acts as a metering point for heat and incorporates the necessary equipment to provide the residents with control over their heating and domestic hot water. Individual heat, water and electricity meters have also been supplied to each property, which will allow residents to pay only for the energy used.

Switch2 will provide a fully comprehensive maintenance programme that offers a rapid response repairs and replacement service should the need arise. By utilising a Mbus based AMR (automated meter reading) system all meters will read remotely at a PC with appropriate software. This will negate the need for access into the resident’s property. Switch2 will use this information to provide a billing and administration service for the client.

Outcome

One of the client’s main visions was to create new homes with a low environmental impact. By using Switch2’s metering and monitoring equipment, residents will be able to make a saving of around 30% compared to an unmetered supply. This will also mean reduced greenhouse emissions and will enable environmental targets set by government to be achieved.

Switch2 has been able to offer a streamlined solution whereby the client has peace of mind that the heating system is fully managed and maintained, thus removing any administrative burden.

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Beetham Tower Manchester – An all-encompassing energy solution

The Customer

Beetham Tower is a landmark £150 million development in Manchester City Centre.

The building includes a 4-star, 285 bedroom Hilton Hotel from levels 5 to 23, a ‘destination sky bar’ on the 24th floor and apartments up to floor 47. Standing at 171 metres tall, it is the tallest UK building outside of London.

The Challenge

A complete energy solution was required for the building. With over 30 years’ experience in energy services Switch2 was selected by the Beetham Organisation to supply energy to the residents of Beetham Tower.

Solution

The service Switch2 provided includes:

  • Procurement of resident utilities and hotel utilities including gas, electricity and water
  • Carrying out a comprehensive meter reading and billing service
  • Monitoring and profiling of the consumption of the combined heat and power (CHP)
  • Operate cash collection, credit control and calculation of the annual tariffs
  • Scheme management and services including financial administration and cash management

Together with the potential to offer a level of funding, the package from Switch2 is an end-to-end solution.

The installation of a fully automatic metering and control system in each apartment gives residents the ability to better manage their consumption, and by automating the process, operational costs can be kept low.

Residents will have access to a support centre for the reporting of faults, which is also under the control of Switch2, who manages maintenance and deals directly with residents.

Outcome

Adding a meter typically saves around 30% compared to an unmetered supply, which is very positive for not only the consumers, but the environment which benefits from the reduced emission of greenhouse gases. Not content with making a bold statement for urban architecture, the developer of Beetham Tower has chosen to make a stand against global warming by installing combined heat and power (CHP) to supply consumers with environmentally-friendly energy.

With the increased requirements for energy efficiency in new building regulations, the metering of group heating supplies is commonly viewed as best practice, especially as the new regulations deter developers from installing electrical heating.

The complete service Switch2 provided now means the residents benefit from an efficient and cost effective energy service.

We pride ourselves on putting the resident first.

Find out what our residents think >

I’m paying a lot less. I have more spare money available.