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  • Zach Cook

South Cambridgeshire District Council Trialling Connected Boiler Control Technology

Intelligent remote monitoring and control technology from Vericon Systems, a leading provider of innovative building management systems, is helping South Cambridgeshire District Council to realise the operational and financial benefits of ‘connected’ boiler control.

As part of a new trial agreement, the Council has installed a small number of Vericon’s BCM devices in its tenants homes to enable the remote monitoring not only of a boiler’s health and condition in real time, but also predicts when the boiler might fail in the future, potentially leaving their customers without heating or hot water.

The devices are monitored and managed via Vericon’s online portal, with performance data that can be recorded and analysed to predict and identify common failures such as low pressure, electrical or mechanical parts failures and even frozen condensate pipes.

Chris Brown, Senior Heating Surveyor at South Cambridgeshire District Council, says the Council is always striving to create greater efficiencies: “Tenant engagement is always high on our list of priorities. We’re particularly interested in new, smart technology and solutions that make diagnosing and fixing boilers more efficient for us and effortless for our tenants.”

During the trial, through ongoing support and service from Vericon, Chris and his team have been able to see BCM in action first-hand and how it can be utilised to accurately identify faults: “With one of our tenants boiler, we were receiving numerous fault alerts a day, but when our maintenance company visited the home, they were unable to identify any faults or issues with the boiler,” Chris continues.

“During a planned video conference call with Vericon, I decided to call the tenant to see if they could help diagnose the issue. They proceeded to explain the boiler had been going off for several weeks and unbeknown to her, each time she pushed a button to try and resolve the problem, she was actually pressing the reset button. On the call, using the Vericon portal I was able to see the boiler come back to life as she pushed the button, proving the system was working correctly. We were then able to arrange for our team to visit the tenant and effect the repair in under 10 minutes, and the boiler has not failed since!”

Bernard Cook, Managing Director at Vericon Systems, says BCM creates greater efficiencies for homeowners, housing providers, building managers and tenants alike: “Interfacing directly with the boiler’s control bus allows the device to perform a range of actions not possible with a read-only Smart Thermostat. Preventative maintenance programmes can be put in place that not only save money in the long term, but also ensure legal and regulatory compliance is consistently maintained.”

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