The Darwin Forest Case Study

Darwin Forest Country Park

Darwin Forest Country Park is one of the UK’s most exclusive lodge holiday parks, set in the beautiful Derbyshire Peak District providing luxury self-catering holiday accommodation. A 5-Star resort set in 47 acres of mixed woodland between Matlock and Bakewell in the Derbyshire Peak District. The Park was a finalist in the 2017 Visit England Awards for Excellence.

About Darwin Forest

Darwin Forest Country Park began in 1989. They pride themselves on providing families with high-quality accommodation that is a home away from home. With 120 luxury lodges in place, it can be challenging to keep on top of utility bills. So, in order to help keep track of individual energy accounts for each accommodation, Darwin Forest engaged Energy Controls to install an AMR (Automatic Meter Reading) system. With an AMR meter installed in every lodge, Darwin Forest are now able to produce accurate accounts for their lodges both quickly and efficiently. This also saves the labour-intensive job of sending staff round to check the meter reading for each lodge individually.

“The benefit of installing Energy Controls’ AMR system is that we don’t have to send people round to read each meter; we can download meter readings from the server at any time in order to keep track of accounts”

Quintin Gregory, Associate Director, Darwin Forest Country Park

Accuracy and Reliability

Current Ofgem and M.I.D legislation dictate the way in which park operators such as Darwin Forest are permitted to charge for energy as well as the standards to which all equipment must comply. Energy Controls ensures that its clients are fully compliant with all current and predicted changes in legislation and works closely with Landis + Gyr, the world’s largest meter manufacturer, with whom it has exclusive distribution rights in the UK.

Awards for Darwin Forest

Darwin Forest is a multi-award winning park and was previously named Best in Britain by Hoseasons. It has achieved the coveted Visit England 5-star Gold Standard and been a finalist in their Awards for Excellence. Darwin Forest has now become the first UK Partner of Landal GreenParks who operate 80 parks across Europe.

Energy Controls’ Solution

Following initial discussions with the customer and a site survey, Energy Controls recommended the installation of AMR meters using the latest Power Line Carrier (PLC) technology. PLC technology enables FREE data communications along with the existing electricity cables which keep running costs to an absolute minimum.

“Energy Controls has implemented cutting edge metering technology to help us to monitor the heating and electricity costs for each lodge. For one month alone our energy bill could reach £30,000, so it’s a sizeable cost that we’re able to monitor effectively thanks to the meters and systems in place.”

Energy Controls’ relationship with Darwin Forest stretches back over 20 years. We are now in the process of installing our new G3 PLC metering system which will be managed and controlled from a hosted web portal using Cloud-based software, this will enable Quintin – Associate Director of Darwin Forest – and his team, to monitor their lodges more closely from anywhere and at any time.

“I can highly recommend Energy Controls. They offer a reliable and invaluable service, especially in the winter months when overspending on energy can become an issue particular with unoccupied accommodation. Their products are very effective and allow us to remotely monitor the temperature and electricity usage in each lodge so that we can correctly manage energy .”

Quintin Gregory, Associate Director, Darwin Forest Country Park