The Westport-based hotel decided to progress their energy efficiency and sustainability journey further with an Energy Audit.

Established in 1959, the Clew Bay Hotel is an award-winning family-owned hotel in Westport’s town centre, in County Mayo. The 54-bedroom hotel is located near some of the most iconic attractions on Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way, including Achill Island, Connemara and the Great Western Greenway. 

Why Clew Bay Hotel decided to undertake an Energy Audit

Clew Bay Hotel management have always placed energy efficiency as a priority among their business activities and are no strangers to Green Hospitality in practice. 

For over 20 years now, the management team collect data on energy expenditure at the hotel, and complete data sheets on energy, water and waste generated by the hotel on a regular basis. Prior to the Energy Audit, they had already taken several actions to save energy at their site, including LED lighting upgrades, the installation of an 11kWp Solar PV, fabric and window upgrades and heating controls. 

But to achieve their long-term goal of becoming ‘Carbon Neutral’, the management team knew they needed external advice on how to excel their pace and undertake the necessary measures on their journey. They decided to apply to SEAI for a €2,000 voucher towards the cost of a professional energy audit.

The grant was easy to apply for and the information and data has been invaluable in giving us the confidence to invest in our business going forward.  We had done quite a lot of work to date; we wanted to get a view on where the business is positioned and what would be required going forward to be more sustainable from an economic and carbon neutral perspective.
Darren Madden, Proprietor, Clew Bay Hotel
Clew Bay Hotel, Westport, County Mayo

An SEAI registered Energy Auditor visited the Clew Bay Hotel site in Westport on 4th May 2022. The audit consisted of a day and a half onsite assessing the energy use of the hotel, and a further day and a half working on calculations and developing a report for Clew Bay hotel. The report provided insights on energy use and a list of energy upgrade recommendations that could be implemented to reduce their energy use further.  

Recommendations included Energy Metering processes for natural gas and electricity use, installing a Heat Pump and installing Solar PV panels. The report also recommended replacing the gas hob in the hotel with an induction hob.  

Finally, the Audit recommended that relevant staff at Clew Bay Hotel sign up to SEAI’s Energy Academy, a free online e-learning resource, with access to high quality, on-demand energy training. With over 25 modules available to complete, signing up will help educate staff on the fundamentals of sustainable energy use, for real-world application at the hotel.

Based on the Auditors calculations, implementing these  actions could potentially reduce Clew Bay’s emissions by 73% and their annual energy spend by approximately €30,000. 

Solar Panels installed at Clew Bay

Steps Taken

The hotel made the decision to implement the recommendations in the report and they even went a step further. Before the major upgrade works kicked off, the team actioned some smaller straightforward measures:

  • Installed aerators on taps, 
  • Installed LED lighting,  
  • Added timers on electrical equipment  
  • Replaced windows with triple glazing

A new heating management system was put in place and staff were trained up to use it correctly and were familiar with the procedures to operate some of the technologies. 

In the Hotel kitchen, the gas salamander grill was replaced with a smart electric induction hob, which was another more energy-efficient upgrade and a move away from relying on gas. 

A 46KW solar panel was also installed on the hotel roof following the Audit’s recommendations, providing a further renewable energy source. 

The Results

The hotel uses a blend of electricity and natural gas onsite.  

Before the Audit, electricity accounted for 56% of energy costs and natural gas made up the remaining 44%. 

Natural gas was used in the boiler and for cooking onsite which equated to 71% of the total energy use. Electricity accounted for 29% of the energy used onsite. 

Data from electricity and gas reports have shown significant drops in the annual energy use at Clew Bay Hotel since 2019, with a 25% drop in electricity usage from 2019 (104,995 KW/H) to 2022 (78,384 KW/H) and then by a further 40% in 2023 (62,636 KW/H), following the Energy Audit.  

Baseline gas usage for Clew Bay Hotel was 330,296 KW/H (recorded in 2019) and in 2022, following the Audit, this was reduced to218,126 KW/H, a drop of 34% and then by a further 46% in 2023 (176,490 KW/H). 

The shift in this data highlights the significant drops in energy use as a result of the measures introduced prior to the Audit, as well as the recommendations from the Energy Audit.