HWM data logger helps staff to quickly identify spikes in usage
An automatic meter-reading (AMR) system from utility telemetry specialist HWM has helped Okehampton College save £30,000 on its annual water bill.
“A few years ago, our water bill was £50,000,” explained Keith Webber, technology coordinator at Okehampton College. “Last year, it was £20,000. The logger has made a huge difference to our awareness of how much water we’re using.”
The college’s datalogger is HWM’s MultiLog LX GPRS, which uses an external battery pack for advanced call frequency. The unit sends flow data every 15 minutes to HWM’s cloud-based server and then forwards that data to Pennon Water Services’ graphing system, BAO (Business Accounts Online). The data is also displayed via HWM Online, a customer portal for graphing and site management purposes.
Keith used the example of a single tap left running during a holiday period to illustrate the benefits of the AMR system. On that day, the college’s online interface showed a spike of £100 in water consumption, while electricity for an immersion heater also jumped by 3kW. As water and electricity use increased simultaneously, Keith could identify which one of 12 buildings the tap was located in.
“The hot tap had been on for 14 hours, but the electricity for the immersion heater cost something like three pounds. You think the electricity’s the expensive bit, but actually, it’s the water.
“At the moment, schools are facing particularly difficult financial times. So, what you don’t want to do is waste money where you can save it. And this is an example of where you could be wasting a lot of money.”
Okehampton College has around 1,700 people on site at any one time. When external organisations, who also receive their water through the college’s meter, are factored in, the total is closer to 2,000.