Case Study – The Irish National Heritage Park

Subject Areas: Lighting, Heating, Insulation, PV Panels, Grant Aid

Sector: Hospitality & Leisure

Background

The Irish National Heritage Park, located just outside Wexford town, provides visitors with a journey through 9,000 years of Irish history. On joining €coMerit, they embarked on their own epic journey to reduce energy costs and improve their long term sustainability.

Heating & Insulation

The main visitor centre, housing the shop, restaurant and audio visual facility, was originally designed for summer use only, and was unsuited to the year-round opening now operated by the Heritage Park. Improvements were made as follows;
• Upgrading the loft insulation to modern standards.
• Installing radiant panel heaters to replace the inadequate mix of old wall heaters and plug-in heaters.
• Installing inflector blinds over the extensive glazed areas, to help retain the heat without compromising the views of the park’s attractions
The combined effect is to save €8,000 per year in heating costs. The panels and inflector blinds were supplied by Sunnyheat Ireland ( www.sunnyheat.ie ).

Lighting

Lighting was by a mix of fluorescent tubes and halogen spots. The total lighting load was 12 kW costing €6,500 per year to run.
The solution was to replace the 249 lights with modern energy-efficient LED units which are 70% more efficient. These save an impressive €4,700 in annual electricity costs.
The lights were supplied by LED Vista Lighting (www.ledvista.ie)


Solar Panels

The Heritage Park has installed an extensive array of photo-voltaic panels to generate their own electricity on site.The 25 kWp array was supplied and installed by Solar Electric Ireland (www.solarelectric.ie). It generates 22,000 kWh of electricity per year, saving €4,000 on the park’s annual electricity bill.

Grant Aid

To help fund the project, the Heritage Park used its €coMerit certification to apply for SEAI ‘Better Energy Communities’ grant support.
SEAI provided a 50% grant reducing the overall project cost from €94,000 to €47,000. As a result, the overall payback time on the project will be a little under three years.
Annual carbon savings will be 46.8 tonnes.