St John’s GAC in ‘Hot Water’
Thursday, November 1st, 2012
GAA Club News and Events
St John’s GAC, Castlewellan are enjoying an ample supply of ‘hot water’ since they commissioned a new solar energy scheme to power the hot water demands of their modern, new club house.
As part of the rebuild of a new Club house for St John’s, the Club management committee opted to install a solar thermal system to satisfy their significant hot water demands, reduce carbon emissions and drive down the running costs of the new state of the art sporting facility outside Castlewellan.
Working with Castlewellan firm Alternative Heat, the Club oversaw the installation of the system this summer. 12m² of Kingspan evacuated tube solar panels were fitted as part of the scheme which was completed in August 2012.
Speaking to Newry Times, St John’s GAC chairman PJ McGrady said:
“Renewable energy wasn’t an area I had much knowledge of before this project, but having looked at other case studies and explored the savings it offered we were able to use it to great effect in the new club rooms.
“Previously we had two changing rooms and to provide hot water for showers, we had to use immersion heaters and oil which was very costly – particular over the summer season. In our new club rooms we have four changing rooms with showers and we were conscious of keeping the running costs down.”
He added, “As well as the financial impact of the building we were mindful of the Club’s responsibility to be aware of our environmental impact. We felt that by using solar thermal energy we should be setting a good example our members and the local community.
“The new system will offset 2688 kg of carbon emissions across the year by reducing our dependence on fossil fuels.”
Alternative Heat MD Connell McMullan said: “This was an ideal project for renewables as much of the hot water demand is during the summer and even with our now famous ‘Irish’ summers, this solar thermal scheme will reduce annual running costs by 31.3% so it’s been a very successful project for St John’s.”
Mr McGrady added: “While it’s only been operational a few months, we can already see a major reduction in our fuel bills. The Club will also benefit from the government’s Renewable Heat Incentive which will pay us 8.5p per kW hour for every unit of solar hot water we produce for the next 20 years – around £650 a year.
“The new system will save us approximately a third of the annual running costs of the building so we’re delighted with the outcome.”
For more information on Alternative Heat or recent case studies see www.alternativeheat.co.uk
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