Earlier this year Bord Gáis Networks won the Sustainable and Environmentally Enhancing Product award at the Catex Exhibition, the annual showcase event for the hospitality industry. Bord Gáis Networks’ award was for its case study on the application of Combined Heat and Power at Hotel Westport. They recently presented the award to the Management Team at Hotel Westport in recognition of the work undertaken to reduce their CO2 emissions through the selection of a more environmentally friendly technology and fuel.
On presenting the award, Mark Holohan, national connections manager at Bord Gáis Networks, commented on the real benefits for businesses in utilising natural gas and CHP technology. “Natural gas is the cleanest, most convenient and cost effective of all fossil fuels,” he said. “For businesses that have a continuous demand for heat and power, choosing natural gas to fuel a CHP unit will result in real savings on their total energy bills, while also helping to meet their environmental commitments.”
Gerry Walsh, general manager of Hotel Westport, who has spearheaded the hotel’s sustainable and environmentally focused approach, said: “While many businesses in the hospitality industry are experiencing difficulties during the current economic climate, we have made significant efforts to reduce our energy costs and carbon footprint through the use of CHP technology.
“By switching to CHP fuelled by natural gas, we have reduced CO2 emissions at Hotel Westport by 1,708 tonnes per annum. That’s equivalent to removing more than 500 cars off the roads each year,” he added. The reduction on Hotel Westport’s total energy bill means that the investment in the CHP technology will have a payback of less than three years.
Hotel Westport’s CHP plant generates most of the hotel’s electricity requirements and also provides heating and hot water for its 129 rooms, conference centre, and award winning spa and leisure facilities.
In May 2008, Hotel Westport was the first customer to be connected to the natural gas network in Co. Mayo following the completion of the Mayo-Galway Pipeline and expansion of the network into eight Mayo towns along the route of the 149km pipeline. Natural gas is now available in Westport, Castlebar, Ballina, Crossmolina and Claremorris, with gas available in Ballinrobe this autumn. The remaining towns of Knock and Ballyhaunis are scheduled for connection subject to meeting the required demand.