One Manchester selects Intergas as boiler of choice
What makes an established and successful housing association decide to work with a little-known Dutch boiler manufacturer? Terri Taylor, Marketing Executive, Intergas Boilers, demonstrates why ‘it’s good to talk’.
One Manchester, which owns and manages over 12,000 homes in central, south and east Manchester, is a housing association that takes a very personal approach to serving its customers. By choosing to work with talented and experienced individuals and organisations, it is able to effect change that has a positive and long lasting impact on its communities. Since 2015 Intergas has been working with One Manchester to support its focus on delivering on-going value for money for its services.
Dennis Wellington, Group Head of Maintenance at One Manchester, needed to find a replacement to the boilers that had been installed, as they were not providing the efficiency or longevity required to satisfy its customers. He took the decision to begin installing Intergas after One Manchester staff met members of the Intergas team at a trade exhibition. “We were impressed by the fact all the boilers in the range had so few components which, to us, meant there would be less likelihood of a breakdown, they’d be hassle-free to service and accessibility of spares wouldn’t be a problem,” said Wellington. “Then there was the two-in-one heat exchanger, which had never had a mechanical failure since its launch over 20 years ago, which backed up their track record of reliability. But first we needed to take a closer look and decided to trial the HRE Combi Compact boiler on a couple of retrofits.”
The trial was successful, and One Manchester began installing this model to replace boilers which had reached the end of their useful life. The boiler is proving to be very reliable and over time is expected to bring reductions in service and maintenance costs. Consequently, the decision has been taken to upgrade to the Eco RF, with its built-in Remote Management facility, to future-proof installations. In 2017 the Intergas ECO RF became One Manchester’s boiler of choice. To date, over 350 have been installed in a range of houses and flats and are being used in acquired properties and within One Manchester’s new build programme.
Every Eco RF comes fitted with a Radio Frequency chip that, when activated, provides unprecedented access to the boiler’s operation in real time. This wireless system is unique to
Intergas, and has yet to be activated at One Manchester, but if and when it is, the level of customer service will improve substantially. Remote Management allows the organisation to target service calls more accurately, change parameter settings remotely, achieve more first-time fixes and prevent a potential problem from becoming one. And, should a fault occur, an alert email is sent immediately. The main constituents of the system are the radio frequency (RF) chip, the gateway and the network. Once the boiler is connected to the network, that’s when it can be managed remotely, and up to 240 properties (boilers) can be linked in one network, providing the distance between any two boilers is no greater than 40m. The network ensures that all the boilers remain in contact with the gateway, regardless of routing and, because the boilers are continuously exchanging data with one another, there’s always a route available. In the seven years since its launch in the Netherlands, over 40,000 Intergas boilers are now linked by wireless networks; this number continues to grow as interconnectivity becomes increasingly important.
But it’s not just about the boiler, support is of vital importance and this is provided by David Stanley, Intergas Technical Manager and his team, who are on call to assist One Manchester whenever they are needed. But this relationship is only partially about fast response to issues, we believe that regular contact facilitates continuous improvement and fosters proactivity, and both client and manufacturer benefit. As high tech as systems get, it’s still good to talk.