The business has been supported by an ENWORKS funded adviser from the local Groundwork trust, to address its resource consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, and has already saved tens of thousands of pounds in the process.
The Groundwork specialist carried out a full on-site review of resource use, to find cost-effective ways of making the business run more efficiently, and energy use was identified as a key priority, along with water consumption and waste management.
Lighting and heating
Examples of the results include £7,400 a year saved by upgrading old light fittings in the sports hall with energy-efficient fluorescent tubes, and adding downward reflectors, dimmer switches and infrared motion sensors to halve the number of hours the lights are on each day.
There was a small cost to fit the new tubes but the payback was only nine months and the project is saving 40 tonnes of CO2e per year.
Meanwhile, a further £6,300 has been slashed from annual heating bills, by fitting a swimming pool cover. Again, this paid back in just nine months and the annual CO2e savings are 29 tonnes.
By reducing evaporation, the cover has also generated knock-on savings on air handling and building maintenance costs in the leisure centre.
Motors and power
Further savings of £4,000 on air conditioning costs have also been achieved by fitting variable speed drives to the system’s motors. These make the system run at optimum efficiency and they have saved another 27 tonnes of CO2e per year.
Elsewhere, voltage optimisation equipment has been installed to improve power loads on site and reduce overall energy consumption. After a payback period of just one year, the technology has reduced annual energy bills by £1,800 and saved almost 10 tonnes of CO2e per year.
As the hotel’s efficiency drive is still at early stages, a number of Groundwork’s recommendations are yet to be implemented.
These include installing a Combined Heat and Power (CHP) boiler, which would cost £30,000 but save £23,100 per year on future energy bills.
Mains water consumption could also be reduced by more than 9,000 cubic metres (m3) a year, by fitting low-flow showerheads, tap aerators, cistern dams and urinal occupancy sensors in changing rooms and bathrooms, and by installing rainwater harvesting equipment on the roof. These measures would also save a further £18,900 in water rates.
Routinely recycling cardboard and paper on site could also save £800 and stop up to eight tonnes of waste from ending up in landfill sites each year.
‘Identify and prioritise’
The hotel’s chief executive, Graham Hobbs said: “Thanks to the ENWORKS funding, Groundwork helped us to identify and prioritise areas of energy saving and they also helped us to raise awareness of, and interest in, green issues amongst the staff team.”
Case study published 24 January 2013.