Heating Controls - Domestic & Commercial


Modern controls fitted to your boiler/heating system will ensure optimum performance. Many houses in the UK do not have thermostats fitted to control either room or hot water temperatures. This is very inefficient and wasteful of fuel, savings can be made by fitting modern controls.
We specialise in the installation of heating controls either following fitting of a new boiler or just replacement of existing items. Modern wireless controls minimise wiring and disruption to your home whilst providing reliable heating system operation.

If you have old controls, energy savings can be made by simply upgrading to more modern equipment. 


Large domestic and Commercial systems comprising heating (often multiple boilers) airconditioning, fresh air and domestic hot water require more complex systems for their control. We are 'Smartpartners' for the Seachange system produced by Ener G Controls. This is a system of modules linked together in a network to provide optimum and efficient control, a Building Management System (BMS).

Once installed and configured, the system can be monitored and adjusted remotely on a PC negating the need for constant site visits when adjustments are required. Energy use can also be monitored along with temperature histories for individual parts of the building.

Trace Heating

During the recent exceptionally cold winter, many householders with condensing boilers experienced frozen condensate pipes which caused the boiler to stop working. This, despite the fact that condensate pipes were well insulated (lagged). Prolonged and very low temperatures rendered the lagging virtually useless.

To prevent a re-occurance of this problem, many homeowners are fitting Trace Heating Systems. This is a simple system consisting of a heating cable fitted to the condensate pipe which is switched by a Frost Thermostat. The heating cable only uses electricity when the outside temperature gets near to freezing and then only about 10Watts per metre of cable.

The cost to install and run Trace Heating is small compared to costly damage caused should a heating system fail duringexceptionally cold weather. Burst water pipes  and often leak for prolonged periods before discovery and cause a lot of damage.

Access Control

Control of access to individual doors or complex installations with multiple access points and sophisticated zoning is available.

Single doors can be controlled by a stand alone device, more sophisticated access control systems providing zoned entry for personnel are computer controlled and produce detailed logging of staff movements. This system can be monitored and controlled remotely allowing alterations to be made simply as and when required. Vist their website Click here

Periodic Inspection

Domestic, Commercial and Industrial premises all require inspection of the electrical installation periodically. Lightly used domestic and commercial installations will only require inspection every five years whereas heavily used premises will require more frequent inspection. The test involves measurement and recording of various parameters at the consumer unit (fuse board) together with visual inspection of a representative sample of light fittings and socket outlets, usually one or two on each circuit. Follow up inspections compare current readings with those taken previously to highlight any significant changes. FAQ

The Electrical Regulations 2008 are being amended soon, the Periodic Inspection will be re-named as a Condition Report. This makes more sense as the condition of an electrical installation more accurately determines the frequency of inspection than a fixed term to a subsequent one. Installations subject to intensive use or in hostile environments obviously require more frequent inspection than those used infrequently.

Energy monitoring

In commercial and industrial premises proper energy management can only be considered when data is available to show where energy is being used productively or wastefully. Wireless monitors are fitted at appropriate points in the building, measurements from these are then continuously recorded and displayed on a computer monitor which may be located locally or remotely. Once data is available, wasteful usage can be highlighted within a few days, seasonal variations will obviously take longer. Monitoring over long periods will also indicate energy trends to give an early warning of inefficient use.

Energy Saving

As mentioned above, upgraded heating controls are an economical way to reduce energy consumption. Another way, particularly in commercial or business premises is to install presence/absence detectors to turn off lights when not required.

Economies can be made even in a small office with a couple of flourescent fittings consuming 150W will cost about 15p/day. This doesn't sound much but over a billing quarter this equates to nearly £15 or £60/year. Multiply this by the number of offices in your building and it's not difficult to see that appreciable savings can be made if lights turn of automatically when the offices are unoccupied.

To find out more about energy saving lighting controls Click Here, use the Energy Calculator on the front page to determine annual savings.

If your light fittings are old they can be replaced with high efficiency flourescents, though initially more expensive to install, energy savings over their lifetime are significant.

In certain situations, the installation of LED lighting can result in apprciable savings, particularly where lights are required for longer periods during the day.

Solar PV 

Solar PV (PhotoVoltaic) panels generate electricity from light, in our case sunlight, the brighter it is the greater will be the amount of electricity generated. A single  panel will generate about 200W and a  typical installation will consist of ten to twenty panels mounted on the roof depending on its size.

Ideally the roof should face south, have a 40 degree slope, not be shaded by trees, roof features (such as dormer windows) and neighbouring properties. Look at your house on Google Earth to get an idea of its orientation relative to south.

Sixteen panels on a roof will generate around  3kW (3000 Watts), obviously this is not continuous as we have to factor in the averge ammount of daylight over a typical year but the revenue from this installation would return in the region of £1200/year. To put this in perspective, the panels would run a 1kW electric fire for 115 days continuously.

Due to the vagaries of the British weather, it has to be said from the outset that some years will produce more electricity than others and the efficiency of the panels will be 20% (at worst) lower after 25 years. However, the returns are still good even though the Feed in Tarrif has ended, the panel will still be working after this time, generating about £300 worth of electricty per annum.

solar panel
Though the capital cost of these systems is high, the overall returns are good with payback occuring after about ten to twelve years. This may seem a long time but if you have savings returning a paltry 1-2% in a Bank or Building Society, returns in the region of  7-10% tax free via the Feed In Tarrif (FIT) are very good.

Once paid for, a 3kW system will produce around £1100/year guaranteed for the remainder of the 25 years.

Schemes offering 'free' fitting sound good initially, however the offer is usually that 1/3 of electricity bills will be covered which for most people is around £100 per year compared to the £900-£1200 generated (depending on number of panels on your roof). When looked at this way, the offer is not so good! If you don't have the money to fit the system then the 'free' approach is probably for you, however a mortguage at a reasonable interest rate to pay for the system will still see you better off in the long term.

One of the major benefits of Solar PV over Solar Thermal (where hot water is stored in a large cylinder) is that there are no storage problems. In summer it is common for solar thermal cylinders to reach capacity when there is still useful sunshine (particularly during holiday periods) the potential saving thus being wasted.

The storage medium for Solar PV is effectively money credited to your electricity supplier account, it doesn't matter if you don't use what you generate, the panels still keep supplying electricity to the grid.

How much will you receive per kWh?

The UK government announced on the 25th February 2011 the adjusted FITs, to be implemented on the 1st April 2011:



Wind <=1.5kW


Wind >1.5-15kW


Wind >15-100kW


Wind >100-500kW


Wind >500-1.5MW


Wind >1.5MW-5MW


Solar PV <=4kW (new build)


Solar PV <=4kW (retrofit)


Solar PV >4-10kW


Solar PV >10-50kW


Solar PV >50W


Solar PV standalone


Hydro <=15kW


Hydro >15-100kW


Hydro >100kW-2MW


Hydro >2-5MW


Existing RO microgenerators


Micro CHP <2kW


Anaerobic Digestion (AD) <=500kW


AD >500kW



The tarrif applicable to most domestic properties is the Solar PV<=4kW new build or retrofit (printed bold).
An extra 3p is paid should there be a nett export of electricity, ie more is electricity is generated than consumed in the property.