The Darwin Holiday and Leisure Parks Case Study

Darwin Holiday and Leisure Parks

Control, monitor and manage energy better than ever.

Darwin Holiday and Leisure Parks operate 15 sites across the UK, with more being added to its impressive portfolio each year. Darwin’s sites range in size, from Mullion Cove, with 28 exclusive lodges on the beautiful Lizard peninsula in Cornwall, to the 630-plot Talacre Beach on the North Wales coast. One thing they all have in common is Darwin’s commitment to providing holidaymakers with an exceptional, five-star experience that keeps their customers coming back again and again.

An important part of the customer experience, whether they are owner-occupiers or short-term holiday lets, is the provision of essential comfort services such as electricity and gas. Such services are an invisible park of most customers’ holidays. Nevertheless, Darwin’s focus on quality means that they are working with Energy Controls to ensure that the supply of both utilities is not only reliable but that the metering is unquestionably accurate.

Key Facts

  • System Benefits
  • Automatic Meter Readings
  • Remote Disconnection
  • Rapid Remote Tariff Updates
  • Prepayment of Energy
  • Products and Services
  • GSM Prepayment SMART Meter
  • Energy Monitor
  • Full Service, from Supply and Installation to Maintenance
  • 24/7 Access to Web Portal

“As a company, we want to be the best in the business and for every customer’s experience to be fantastic. If a customer queries a bill, we need a metering system that can resolve that issue as quickly as possible – or ideally avoid the issue in the first place.

“That’s exactly what Energy Controls’ SMART meters are doing for us and one of the reasons why we’re installing them as standard in new units, as well as rolling them out across our existing fleet.”

Kris Sutton, Group Grounds and Utilities Manager, Darwin Holiday and Leisure Parks

Energy Controls’ Solution

Following a review of its energy supply, Darwin Holiday and Leisure Parks has so far introduced SMART electricity meters, energy monitors and SMART gas data loggers at its Sea View site in Flintshire, North Wales and its new flagship park, Cheddar Woods, in Somerset. The new meters, which are issues FREE on a rental scheme from Energy Controls, are managed and controlled from a hosted web portal, allowing Kris and his team to see instantly which caravans and lodges are occupied and how much electricity is being used at any given time.

Energy Controls is also introducing a PayPoint service for Darwin Parks that will allow customers to buy electricity and top up their smart meters remotely using a choice of hundreds of point-of-sale terminals in retail outlets across the UK. The portable energy monitors connect wirelessly to the new SMART meters, displaying electricity usage in real-time, as well as daily costs and usage trends.

By highlighting how much electricity customers use, and when they use it, the monitors can help customers save money by taking simple steps to reduce their consumption, whether it is switching off lights or turning down thermostats. The monitors can even display pop-up messages from the on-site team. Darwin is also in the process of replacing gas meters at its sites in the North West with new ones that will be linked to Energy Controls’ SMART data loggers so that they can also be read remotely.

Accuracy and Reliability

Current Ofgem and M.I.D. legislation dictate the way in which park operators such as Darwin are permitted to charge for energy and the stringent 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.

Darwin can, therefore, relax in the knowledge that it is upgrading to the world’s most accurate and reliable meters, which meet the exacting demands of the ‘big six’ energy providers.

Implementation and Use

The new SMART metering system was installed by Energy Controls over a three-week period during the winter shutdown. Kris Sutton, the Group Grounds and Utilities Manager explains;

“The upgrade went very smoothly. We made sure that customers were aware that we were doinf the upgrade and what to expect. Our customers are very, very happy with the system.

“Energy Controls’ own customer service has been five-star, and we can always reach the people we need. Chris and his team are very hands-on and are happy to come and visit and meet at our parks.”

Kris Sutton, the Group Grounds and Utilities Manager, Darwin Holiday and Leisure Parks

Return on Investment

The new SMART metering systems have helped save time and money, according to Kris Sutton:

“We’re confident that the new system is saving us thousands of pounds in time spent reading meters and resolving queries. Because we have rent the meters, what would have been a major investment is actually cost-neutral to us

Kris Sutton, the Group Grounds and Utilities Manager, Darwin Holiday and Leisure Parks