From heating our homes and driving our cars to watching a film or making a coffee — not to mention the mobile phone or smart devices that are with us wherever we go — it takes a lot of energy to power our daily lives. 

At this rate, ‘energy efficiency’ is more than just a buzzword. The global consumption of electronics is expected to double by 2050, and the role of energy saving in the electronics industry is constantly evolving. 

Now, we can connect virtually every energy-using device in our homes, automating processes to improve our energy output. Set your dishwasher to run at night when energy is cheaper or programme your television to turn off when idle for a certain time. Forgot to turn the lights off? Do it remotely from wherever you are. 

But whilst it’s becoming easier to monitor the energy consumption in our homes, what about commercial or industrial settings like offices, warehouses and hotels, where it’s harder to control? After all, buildings account for 40% of the overall EU energy consumption — so how can the electronics industry help building and site managers regulate energy usage? 

Prefect Controls

Our customer Prefect Controls designs and provides control systems — ideal for owners and managers of multi-dwelling accommodation where the occupants aren’t paying their energy bill directly.

From hotels and hostels to leisure parks and university accommodations, Prefect Controls is bringing an innovative but simple product to the market, ensuring the comfort of every guest or resident without wasting energy consumption.

Prefect Controls specialises in simple energy controls that fulfil the commercial needs of the building operator whilst providing fixed control access for the occupant.

Currently, Prefect’s control systems regulate almost 170,000 rooms across the UK’s student accommodation estate.

Of almost 700,000 purpose-built student accommodation rooms and a further 900,000 multiple-occupancy university houses, around 10% have a Prefect Controls system on their wall! A great step in the right direction for energy saving in the electronics industry.

Let’s take a closer look…

3-stage student profile

The systems work in three stages: Setback, Boost and Frost mode.

Setback is the comfortable temperate rooms are kept at all times, usually around 18°C. If the occupant wants it a little warmer, they can press a button on the local control system that raises the temperate to a maximum pre-set level, sitting at around 23°C. But this Boost setting is only operational for 45 minutes before automatically switching back to its Setback level, saving wasted energy consumption.

The control systems also notice when the room has been vacated for an extended time and will revert to Frost mode — this turns off the energy input from the room and only switches back on if the temperature falls below 10°C. So, it’s never too cold, but empty rooms aren’t heated for no reason.

Thanks to these three stages, Prefect systems typically save 30% to 40% on energy costs dependent on the location of the site and the type of building it’s installed in — for example, its insulation levels, the type of glazing it has and the age of the property.

Internet control

Irus, Prefect Control’s central control system is managed via an internet portal.

Times and temperatures can be set in bulk for blocks of rooms at a time, but levels can be altered individually, too, meaning managers never have to be physically present.

The control system can monitor CO2 levels, humidity, light and sound pressure in each room, helping to determine if dampness is present, lights aren’t working, or the curtains haven’t been drawn regularly.

Irus can also control water heating using Prefect Control’s latest product — the Irus SMART Tank. The state-of-the-art water heating cylinder has been manufactured with all the plumbing and controls integrated directly into the tank, making installation quicker and more cost-effective than others on the market.

The central control system monitors the temperature of the water coming into and leaving the tank, using temperature probe pockets containing sensors to provide data to help managers with their heating strategies, such as peak demand times. A sensor on the tundish also keeps a log of the amount and temperature of wasted water.

For any maintenance issues, like heating elements that aren’t working or need replacements, the buildings team is alerted via email or SMS so that action can be taken as soon as possible.

Prefect Controls is helping to change how we use appliances, presenting opportunities for greater flexibility, lower costs and decreased emissions for a more sustainable future. How will your business tackle energy efficiency this year?

Are you looking for quality electronics manufacturing services for your project? EMS manufacturers cable and PCB assemblies for Prefect Controls and many other clients across various sectors. We draw on our wealth of expertise and trusted suppliers to offer you the best possible solution. Contact us at for more information.