The Celtic Manor Resort in Wales is a world-class 5-start destination that has hosted the Ryder Cup and a NATO summit. It has golf courses, luxury spas, and hotels. Beginning in 2016, it has worked with several vendors to reduce its energy usage, especially during COVID19 when it was on lockdown.
One of those was npower Business Solutions (nBS), which was on a mission to find ways to cut annual energy costs valued at $1.25 million. It started with a basic audit before dividing its task into three areas: it installed 21 meters that allow for remote monitoring. This was followed by a six-week benchmarking period, followed by weekly site meetings.
A detailed analysis showed that the resort did not efficiently manage occupancy rates and energy usage. It also had to better monitor air handling units and introduce a heat pump timer.
“At the golf club, proactive alarming helped to maintain savings, air handling units were improved and a faulty BMS system was fixed at the main resort, providing further opportunities for savings Easy to use, intuitive software and a close working relationship between employees from both companies led to immediate savings for the customer,” npower says.
The resort saved $125,000 a year.
Celtic Manor also worked with software maker Surple — especially useful during the COVID19 lockdown. In other words, as employees worked from home, much of the space inside the enterprise was unoccupied. Ditto for the hotel space. Hence, reducing energy cost became an imperative.
The energy management at the resort implemented a full-scale shut down at all the buildings closed to the public. They turned off all air handling units and the boiler plant. Managers switched off non-critical lighting, fridges, freezers, and non-critical networks. But the team said this was just a first step. Next, they had to ensure that energy costs didn’t creep back up because of equipment that had been left or because of faulty equipment.
That’s where the software kicked in. It was configured to send alarm signals if energy usage exceeded certain levels.
“By using this technique and reaching their theoretical baseline, the shutdown implemented by the Celtic Manor energy team resulted in significant cost reductions during the lockdown, in most cases by well over 70%,” says Surple, in 2020. “The energy alarms set in Surple ensured that savings stayed at this level until the resort was allowed to reopen.”
Consider the Ty Hotel, part of the Celtic Collection: the average half-hour energy use was 30 kWh. But after the shutdown, the energy management team identified a caseload of about 8kWh. That was 73% less than normal usage. The team set alarms to notify them if the usage exceeds 9kWh in any 30-minute period. When this happened, they explored why and if it was because of faulty equipment, and the problem was addressed.
The golf club, meanwhile, had consumption peaks of 188 kWh at around midday and a half-hourly average of approximately 80 kWh. During the shutdown, Surple says that the caseload was 18kWh. The energy team set the alarms if consumption exceeded 19kWh for any 30-minute time.
“By reacting quickly to these alarms, the energy management team at the Celtic Manor were able to reduce the Golf Club’s energy consumption by 78% during the lockdown,” says Surple. “Ultimately, energy costs during the lockdown were as low as they could have been — saving the business thousands of (dollars).”
Celtic is cognizant of its emissions. Whenever there are major events taking place at the resort, emissions spike. It says that powerPerfector’s voltage power optimization was able to save 10% of the electricity used at the 2010 clubhouse. “Optimizing the voltage meant that the electrical equipment onsite used less electricity without affecting the site’s operations. This meant that when the resort hosted the Ryder Cup, it was able to stay within its electrical supply and that it reduced the cost and emissions of the event.” How?
— it installed 10,000 low-energy light bulbs and motion sensors;
— it procured 100% green energy;
— it utilized biodegradable packaging;
— it utilized a recycled and re-usable ‘eco-cup’ in public catering which reduced the overall number of vessels by around 60,000 units;
— it separated the waste to achieve an 87% re-use and re-cycling rate, and
— it recycled rainwater to irrigate the golf course.
Joel Kirby is the Energy and Environmental Manager at the Celtic Manor Resort in Wales and he answered some questions on energy management. His central message is the importance of tracking energy costs and working feverishly to reduce those costs.
“We’ve attempted to switch off all non-essential equipment, therefore reaching our theoretical baseline. This shutdown has allowed us to significantly reduce our costs, in some cases by over 70%,” Kirby told Surple.
The three essential steps to prepare for a shutdown, according to Kirby:
— ensure all unnecessary gets switched off;
— ensure that external equipment is protected from frost, and
— ensure that vacant buildings have a flushing regime in place.