Mike Brannagan to CHAIR OF HOUSE
Your Suggestion / Comment
Those who have battery-powered trollies continue to be asked to install a timer controlling the times their battery is left on charge.
I believe this instruction is flawed if intending to improve safety within the club or to reduce the electricity bill.
With regard to safety, purchasing cheap untested timers to the clubs curcuit could pose more of a safety / fire risk than them not being there in the first place. Also, having a timer installed doesn’t confirm when the battery is charging, it could be timed to be turned on 24 hours a day.
Also, if the club are looking to make cost savings, surely the sockets should be powered up in the early hours when electricity is at its cheapest.
My suggestion would be for the club to only power the sockets up in the early hours by installing a single timed switch into the circuit, this would then be in control of the club and not it’s members.
The other alternative would be to not provide a battery charging service at all. This option would also provide further trolley storage space.
Thanks for your note which included some very sensible suggestions. May I bullet-point the answer to make it a bit more concise than it otherwise would be(!):
- The initial request to members to install individual timers was to satisfy our insurers, as well as reduce the energy consumption.
- You may very well be right that a timer itself could be faulty, but generally, as they are a simple ON/OFF clock, they tend not to generate heat, whereas the battery charger, as I am sure you are aware, can get very warm when left unattended.
- The issue of PAT testing all electrical items does remain an issue, which we are pursuing.
- The timers are visible and so the pre-set ON/OFF times can be monitored.
- We have looked at an in-line timer so that all of the sockets in that series are controlled by a master timer, however, our initial advise is that with potentially 36 chargers all switching on together, this could create a surge and trip that circuit. That said, we are still looking into this option. Of course this would facilitate your other suggestion of using power in off-peak hours.
- Your last suggestion of discontinuing this service is indeed many peoples preference (except for those 36 with this facility!). We have improved this facility more recently but we keep an open mind at this stage and follow the advice given to us from our insurers and safety auditors.
We really appreciate your comments Mike and I would be happy to discuss this in more detail, if you wish.