Project TypeCommunity Energy
In 2015 Moyne Athletic Club’s existing indoor lighting was expensive and causing trouble so they decided to look into a new system. ‘We had the old-fashioned bulbs and they were always blowing, so rather than keep replacing them we decided to upgrade,’ explains Eibhlis Purcell, a club member of over 30 years and now children’s coach and PRO.
The club had already put in energy-saving LED bulbs on their outdoor track, so were familiar with the benefits of state-of-the-art lighting. ‘It was always in our heads that maybe we would do inside too,’ says Eibhlis. After seeing an ad for the Better Energy Communities (BEC) grant scheme in the local Tipperary Star newspaper Eibhlis followed up on the Tipperary Energy Agency website. ‘It kicked off from that,’ she says.
In February 2016 Tipperary Energy Agency carried out an audit of the electrical lighting and equipment at the club’s extensive 690 m2 clubhouse that includes changing rooms, toilet facilities, a gym, indoor sports hall, kitchen and meeting room. The agency proposed upgrading the lighting to a Smart Lighting System including low motion wiring for detection in order to reduce the lighting energy usage by 59%.
The agency then successfully applied to the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) for 50% BEC grant funding. ‘Tipperary Energy Agency project managed it for us,’ says Eibhlis. ‘Our side of it was that we just had to fill out the forms and sign things and come up with the money.’ The total capital cost of the upgrade was €7,979 which had to be paid upfront by the club.
‘This was a bit of struggle because we were still paying for the other major development [of the outside track]. We had to make an effort to pay,’ says Eibhlis, adding that the financial pressure was eased once the 50% grant came in.
‘It felt like a long time to actually get the grant but once it was approved in fairness it was a good job. The contractors were very clean and tidy. You’d hardly even know they were there. It was very fast when it came to putting the lights in.’
So what do club members and users of the club’s facilities – the gym is open to the local community and the sports hall is available for rent – make of the new lights? ‘People are impressed with them,’ says Eibhlis. ‘In the gym there are three sets of lights across the room and one lot would frequently switch off when that end is not occupied.’ ‘Definitely the lights inside are way stronger and much safer. We have the local football team using the sports hall and before we’d be afraid they’d be blowing them on us.’
Eibhlis says she would definitely recommend their new system, as well as the SEAI’s Better Energy Communities scheme.