The end of the year is the time to reflect on performance, achievements, and ambitions.



For Prefect Controls, 2023 was a milestone. In March Irus SMART Tank was launched. This brought to market the only hot water cylinder that is pre-plumbed, pre-wired and has factory fitted on-board controls providing data that informs strategy to make significant savings in energy and water consumption.

SMART Tank monitors the volume and temperature of water entering the cylinder. Providing accurate temperature readings of water inside the tank and hot and cold water across the system. It also alerts maintenance teams to leaks, and should water be flowing through the tundish.

Analysis since launch suggest more than 25% savings in energy consumption. While leak detection sensors attached to a toilet cistern measured more than 72K litres of water wasted during a 21-day period before maintenance teams attended the fault.

In April, Gildersome Spurs, the Yorkshire based under 15s football team sponsored by Prefect, won a nail-biting final against Morley Glen to lift the Heavy Woolen District FA Blackburn Cup.

During May, data from the Irus installation at the University of the West of England (UWE) was analysed. Heating is controlled in more than 3000 rooms at the Frenchay campus. When comparing energy consumption from 2021-23 with pre-pandemic years (2017-19) almost 900,000kWh is being saved per year.

Irus is a central control system where all programming and monitoring is maintained via the secure web based Irus Portal. The system monitors individual rooms and prevents energy from being used unnecessarily. Rooms are maintained at a comfortable temperature but, should the occupant require more warmth, they press a button engaging Boost range. Temperatures rise to a pre-determined level for a pre-set time, after which it reverts to Setback.

To add to the scope of Irus, HobSensus has also been installed at the Bristol campus. HobSensus is a kitchen safety device that prevents hobs from being left switched on if kitchens are left unattended or temperatures on the cooking surface approach dangerous levels.

2023 saw the largest Irus installation programme Prefect has ever encountered. The team of Project Managers travelled the length and breadth of the UK PBSA estate from Aberdeen to Exeter. 21 sites were added to the Portal bringing the total number to 101. In September a milestone was met when the 50,000th room was commissioned.

In November, Prefect attended the Electrical Safety First annual conference at Church House, Westminster. Electrical Safety First is a campaigning organisation that aims to reduce death and injury caused by electricity. It is recognised by government and industry as the leading authority on electrical safety.

As part of the conference, there is an award presentation. This year the winner of the Safety Innovation Award was HobSensus. Collecting the award on behalf of Prefect, Adrian Barber commented, “Recognition from an authority such as this demonstrates the scale of the issue that exists with kitchen fires. It would be reassuring if this type of device became as commonplace as CO2 monitors and smoke detectors.”

The eventful year was capped off in December with the UWE installation being recognised at the Energy Saving Awards and winning the Education Sector Project of the Year title.

Kirsti Norris, Energy Manager at UWE commented, “I am delighted that Prefect Controls has received recognition of their fantastic product and customer service. The Irus system has made UWE significant savings in energy, money, and carbon. It has also improved the comfort of our students, and the service we give through improved controllability of the accommodation heating systems.”

So, 2024 has a lot to live up to!