Coalbrookdale Community Centre, nestled in idyllic Ironbridge, is at the heart of the local community. The building itself started life as a school for girls and infants in 1831. After several changes in use over the years, it eventually became the community centre in 1998 and has served the village since then.
The centre hosts all types of events for every generation from baby and toddler learning groups, to coffee mornings to reduce isolation for the elderly and vulnerable. There are regular exercise classes each week including Taiichi, men’s and women’s yoga and Tae Kwon Do. The hall is also used for birthday parties and christenings and is a central hub for larger community events such as the recent Queen’s Platinum Jubilee party.
The heating challenge
With different schedules and activities every day, heating the building to the right temperature at the right times is a big challenge. When you combine the need for comfort with the significant increase in utility bills and with the financial squeeze being placed on councils, they urgently needed to find a way to improve how the building was heated.
Some weeks the hall can be empty during the day and used in the evening and other weeks it can be the opposite. So, finding a way to heat the building based on its usage was essential. The committee wanted a solution that gave them the flexibility to manage the heating and schedules, but as it’s run entirely by volunteers, it needed to be convenient. Travelling to the building to amends the heating schedules everyday was not a viable solution.
Wiser was the perfect solution for Coalbrookdale Community Centre for a number of reasons. Firstly, the ability to control the heating schedules in every room, from anywhere in the world via an app was the ideal solution. Secondly, an existing committee member has experience of the product in their own home. They had seen the benefits it brings in terms of comfort and energy savings so knew it was both a reliable and suitable solution for the centre. And finally, in comparison to other products available on the market, Wiser offered room by room capability at a much more competitive price.
After presenting the possibilities to the entire committee, they all agreed that Wiser was the solution that covered the building needs. A simple to use and manage product that gives the benefits of easily controlled and adjusted heating, whilst also giving valuable reports on how the heating profile of the building changes during the seasons.
So far, the Wiser kit has helped on multiple different levels. The heating schedules can now be fully customised to ensure all regular bookings have accurate room temperatures set and the heating isn’t on continually, this will be a big money saver. On top of that, the schedule can be amended for any one-off bookings without anyone having to leave their home which is a huge improvement. Finally, with the insights feature, long term heating patterns can be tracked and understood so improvements can be made and energy savings can be monitored.
James Perry, Committee member comments “we’re actively seeing a reduction in our gas usage based on this management and this will help to ensure the centre can continue to operate during the cost of living crisis.
Everything so far has been a positive improvement for the centre and its users and has significantly helped towards the long-term financial viability of the centre.”