Min-Y-Gaer is a Victorian house overlooking Tremadog Bay in Criccieth, West Wales. It provides accommodation for 14 members of The Pines Care Home staff in 10 individual rooms plus a four-room flat. The house has facilities for communal cooking, some areas for relaxation and there are some offices used by the administrative staff of the care home.

Genius Hub was installed in the property as part of a renovation project in Summer 2017. Owner Andy Paynter had previously had problems with the management of the heating. There had been a standard 7-day programmer and thermostatic radiator valves on most of the radiators but this was not sufficient to provide effective control of the heating.

Shift patterns of the staff meant that some rooms were occupied during the day and some at night. Staff would leave the radiators on and then open windows, which was clearly an inefficient and wasteful use of energy.

Concerns of smart heating controls?
Andy was initially concerned about the number of rooms within the building and was not sure that heating controls would work.

Genius Hub conducted a free site survey and explained how their Genius Radiator Valves are specifically designed to wirelessly receive messages to open or close from the Genius Hub “Brain-Box”, thereby providing individual room-by-room control.

How easy was the installation?
Installation of the Genius Hub is quick and easy but, in this case, Andy chose to use his own electrician to install the system and unfortunately a mistake was made with the boiler wiring. 

Andy told us he quickly got through to the Genius Hub support desk who were “very helpful” and they gave clear and concise advice on how to resolve the issue. Andy said, “It was really good to know that they were there for us.”

Is Genius Hub making savings?
Initially, they used the system with the timings set to be the same as the time-clock they had before. Therefore, the heating was still on most of the time and minimal savings were made. However, as they got used to the system, they started using the Footprint mode. With the Genius Hub Room Sensors, the system learns the usage patterns of a room, automatically heating it, and then turning down the radiator when the room is empty. Genius Hub ensures that the rooms are warm when occupied but never wasting energy. As Andy said, “This is the point where significant savings were made.” Also, the window detection feature means that the system will turn off a radiator if a window is left open.

Now they are used to all the features, they find using the system easy and straightforward. Andy told us, “We can see the savings, as we can see that the tenants only use their rooms for two hours and then leave again. You can feel when you go into a room that’s not being used, the temperature is a little cooler at 18º, not 24º like it used to be! We can actually feel the savings when we go into the room. It’s great!”

What do you like about the system?
The Genius Hub system is automated. So, once it is set up, it is ready to go and users do not have to think about it. The whole system is controllable via a simple app, so there is no need to visit the property. If there are any issues or problems, this can all be viewed from the app. If a tenant would like the temperature a little higher, this is done remotely as well. Andy said that he likes the system because it “just works” and that neither he nor his staff need to worry about it. Maintenance man Liviu, who now looks after the system using a smartphone, loves it.

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