We all know that it’s best to design heat networks for the lowest whole-life cost – but sometimes project budgets are so constrained that CAPEX must be kept to an absolute minimum.

Recognising this reality is what inspired us to create Guru Hub III Core – monitoring hardware for heat networks. It’s the innovation and quality that you expect from Guru Systems at a price that’s comparable to a wired M-Bus system. Guru Hub III Core is now being installed across the UK, including in Brent where it’s being used as a low cost credit billing solution.

Guru Hub III Core is just one way that we reduce costs for clients. Here we explain how we’ve created a collection of hardware and software to help our clients keep costs down, without compromising on the service they provide to residents, or on the quality of data being captured from their heat networks.

Guru Hub III Core – our credit billing hardware that’s price comparable with wired M-Bus

The cost of running M-Bus cabling and installing data loggers is usually estimated between £175 – £250 per dwelling – and that’s for a system that’s prone to communications faults due to broken wires or shorting. It also risks GDPR non-compliance because data traffic is not encrypted.

Guru Hub III Core captures and communicates encrypted data every five minutes – and the price is comparable to the cost of installing a wired M-Bus system on site. Our first screen-free domestic device, it’s been designed as a low-cost credit billing option for clients who want to use this data to provide their customers with a monthly bill.

But unlike other screen-free options, it doesn’t compromise on the frequency it captures data, the number of utilities it can monitor (four) or its ability to remotely open and close supply valves or switch loads on and off.

Guru Hub II Guru Hub III Core
Billing options Pay-As-You-Go or Credit Billing Credit Billing 
No. of utilities 5 4
No. of external control devices such as shut off valves 3 2
Input types supported M-Bus, Pulse, PT1000 M-Bus, Modbus/RS485, Pulse
Wireless radio frequency used 868 MHz 868 MHz
Accompanying software Guru Pay (Manage tariffs, manage payments and mitigate debt risk by remotely switching customers between credit and prepayment, extending friendly or emergency credit, and enabling or disabling supply when needed.) Guru Platform (The utility meter data captured by the Guru Hub III Core is structured and accessed via Guru Platform, ready to be used for credit billing.)
Can be used with Guru Pinpoint for heat network performance management Yes Yes
Product design life 10 years 10 years

Free networking equipment, like gateways and repeaters

Guru Systems hardware uses 868 MHz wireless mesh communications to ensure high reliability, including in areas where SIM cards won’t work due to lack of signal. This kind of network requires at least one gateway (allowing data to be communicated out of the building), and can require repeaters depending on the layout of the site. If a site needs more gateways or repeaters, that’s on us. Networking equipment like gateways and routers are free when buying either Guru Hub II or Guru Hub III Core, again reducing CAPEX costs.

Hardware agnostic technology, meaning clients save money on equipment like meters, valves and HIUs

Guru Hubs are HIU, valve and meter agnostic. This can help clients to save considerable sums per dwelling i.e. by buying less expensive HIUs or meters.

For example, inexpensive but good quality meters can be used with Guru Systems hardware, costing around £135. Instead, some other solutions only work with expensive meters costing £170 or more.

It’s important to consider the entire price of the bundle, i.e. the HIU, heat meter, automatic meter reader and networking equipment when working out what is most cost-effective for a site.

Cost-effective accompanying software for credit billing to keep operating costs low

Ongoing costs associated with metering and billing are a key consideration for clients. However, cost-effective solutions are available.

The accompanying software to Guru Hub III Core structures the data captured on site ready to be accessed online via Guru Platform, and / or sent to your chosen metering and billing provider via SFTP or email. Costs are lower because this system focuses entirely on the effective communication of data instead of on features and systems to support pay-as-you-go billing.

This system is in place in Brent, where it was chosen to keep costs lower for credit billing customers on a development of socially rented flats.

“Brent is piloting credit billing in a brand new 100% socially rented block of about 235 flats.

Credit billing was favoured because it spreads heating cost across the year helping families to budget. Receiving meter readings from an AMR service provider like Guru allows us to monitor payments against consumption and to prepare accurate heat statements every six months using in-house resources.”

Francesca Campagnoli, District Energy Manager – Brent Council

To find out more about our lower cost hardware and software solutions, please contact our Sales team via sales@gurusystems.com or 020 8050 4305.