“Having a tank for the LPG is much more convenient and the gas is a lot cheaper. It’s also less wasteful with no residual gas going back in cylinders that are not quite empty, and there’s no need to check the amount in the tank to order a refill as this is all done wirelessly. Dr Stewart Humphreys, joint head and founder of Treffos School

Switching to AvantiGas bulk LPG was a lesson in economy for Anglesey head teachers and school proprietors Stuart and Joyce Humphreys. After converting a water tower in the grounds of Treffos School into a lovely holiday let, they found the oil boiler installed was not popular with guests. Visitors complained about the smell, so they switched to a cleaner, greener, LPG boiler using bottled gas. Next they switched supplier, changing to AvantiGas and a bulk tank, which brought lower costs and greater convenience.

THE CHALLENGE

School proprietors Stuart and Joyce Humphreys have devoted their lives to education as joint heads and founders of Treffos School at Llansadwrn, near the Menai Bridge on Anglesey in North Wales.

They have been AvantiGas customers for many years, using our LPG to heat the former stables that they converted into their popular pre-school kindergarten. But the grounds to the 17th-century country house that forms the main school building also included an historic water tower that was in urgent need of restoration.

Stuart painstakingly rebuilt the tower, converting the interior and adding a small extension to create a unique living space that’s destined to be the couple’s retirement home but is currently providing one of the island’s most distinctive holiday lets.

He initially installed an oil-fired boiler to heat the place, but the smell created by the oil-burner proved problematical with some guests. Some even refused to stay there:

“This happened a few times – especially in the winter. I always kept the underfloor heating running in there, just to keep it nice and warm. They’d get the key out of the key lock to let themselves in – maybe I hadn’t been there for two or three days – and it’s inevitable with an oil boiler that you will get a slight smell of kerosene,” said Stuart.

“But people who never use an oil boiler would say ‘There’s something unsafe here. You’ve got an oil leak or something.’ Now even though I’ve got safety detectors on the wall and would tell them ‘No, it’s quite alright. It’s a new boiler’ or ‘It’s just been serviced and you’ve got the service log there’, some people wouldn’t stay –  especially if they had a baby.”

WHAT WE DID

Dr Humphreys decided to switch to an LPG boiler, initially fuelled by 47kg gas bottles, but when he came to AvantiGas, Area Sales Manager Tony Edwards explained the advantages of installing an AvantiGas bulk tank as a more cost-effective solution for the ex-water tower’s energy needs

“Having a tank for the LPG is much more convenient and the gas is a lot cheaper,” said Dr Humphreys. “It’s also less wasteful with no residual gas going back in cylinders that are not quite empty, and there’s no need to check the amount in the tank to order a refill as this is all done wirelessly.”

After the successful installation of the bulk tank, Dr Humphreys felt moved to email Tony Edwards to tell him the that the AvantiGas engineer and the Hiab driver who performed the install were “a credit to your company.”

THE RESULTS

What impressed him was the team’s can-do attitude when access to the plinth – the concrete base for the tank, which Stuart had constructed himself – was out-of-range to be winched in by the HIAB, unless it could reverse over the grassed area beside the house. During a rainy spell this may not have been possible, but Stuart asked the AvantiGas team to assess it after the ground had baked hard over the long dry summer:

“They were very courteous and very helpful. I said, ‘I bring my heavy-duty tractor on it. It’s rock-hard. Would you mind doing an assessment where the grass is and make a decision based on that?’ Which they did, and they said ‘We think that’s solid enough,’ So they came off the main path and reversed five or six metres onto the grass, and we were able to get the tank in.

“What I appreciated was that so many people would have said ‘No, we’re not doing that,’ and driven off again with the tank. But they were prepared to make an assessment themselves of what was viable to try and help me get the installation in.”

AvantiGas always likes to be the company that goes above and beyond to meet or exceed customer expectations, so we were delighted to hear another example of our engineers doing exactly that.

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