Every golf club,
large or small, is effectively like any business or household. It
uses fuel, power and water and generates waste, all of which has
to be paid for. So the first, obvious question is to find out how
much you are spending at present. That is a starting point for going
on to identify possible energy saving opportunities. But it is not
simply a matter of doing a few one-off improvements. The best results
come from organising a proper action plan, one which can prioritise
the most effective measures and allows for effective control and
monitoring. To make this work properly you will need someone to
be responsible for making it happen.
basic steps offer a good approach to tackling energy efficiency
and provide the necessary framework to enable you to take full advantage
of the practical measures proposed in Chapter 4.
Decide who will be responsible
To ensure things get done, there needs to be an ‘energy champion’
within the club. This need not be an onerous task and it is by no
means a full-time job, but it is important to have someone to act
as the club’s ‘eyes and ears’ for energy wastage.
In a typical
golf club the ‘energy champion’, either an employee
or a member, should focus on the clubhouse and related buildings.
Golf course and maintenance facility aspects are the responsibility
of the Head Greenkeeper, who may decide to nominate a ‘golf
course energy champion’ from among the greenstaff. In such
situations, there should be close liaison between the two energy
champions, forming an ’Energy Action Team’, to ensure
a uniform approach to energy conservation throughout the golf club.
of the energy champions should include:
- noting examples
of energy wastage
- reading meters
and checking fuel bills
others to use energy more efficiently
reporting findings back to senior club management
Establish the facts
How much energy are you using? To find out you need to collate invoices
for electricity, gas, heating oils and/or coal, as well as all fuel
bills for vehicles and golf course maintenance equipment, and water
and sewerage bills. Do not just check the cost, look also at the
metered usage. For past periods you will have to rely on reported
meter readings on invoices, but from now on also do your own meter
for the last three years should be compiled, so you have a view
on whether usage and costs are stable or changing. Key things to
look out for are:
- any signs
of exceptional consumption
- whether you
are paying for the amounts of fuel/power you actually use
- how costs
are changing over the years
patterns to energy consumption
Once you have calculated your absolute costs, it is useful to do
some comparisons, both internally and with other, similar golf clubs
- such data may be scarce at first but as more clubs engage in energy
efficiency projects, there will be more information available (always
check with the Scottish Golf Environment Group for up to date news).
Or you can benchmark against data for a range of building types
published by the Scottish Energy Efficiency Office.
may be year on year, seasonal or between activity centres: e.g.
which is the main energy consumer within the club – the club
house, or golf course maintenance? Such information can help set
priorities and targets for improvement.
Plan and organise
The first step in planning is the development of an energy
policy statement. This is important because it means the club’s
decision makers are consciously committed to the initiative, and
the policy is a valuable tool for raising awareness among staff,
members and visitors. It will also provide continuity of purpose
as personnel and committee members come and go.
The policy statement should provide a basic reasoning for why the
club is carrying out an energy efficiency programme, and it should
highlight the main objectives together with performance targets
to meet these objectives.
the policy, the next step should be to draw up an action plan. This
should cover the various component areas of the golf club (clubhouse,
pro-shop, golf course…) and the specific energy areas (electrical,
boilers, heating, lighting…). The action plan will need to
identify tasks to be undertaken, their frequency, how they should
be recorded and reported, and by whom.
setting objectives, involving members and staff, and assigning responsibilities
are the core components.
Pay less for your energy
Before even looking for energy conservation measures, it is worth
checking whether you are paying the best price for the energy you
do use. The simple exercise of reviewing your energy bills can produce
some surprising results, as some golf clubs have already discovered
to their benefit. Understanding the range of tariffs and providers, and deciding
what is best for you may take some effort. Some clubs have found
it useful to call in an energy consultant to help them through this
It may also
be possible to maximise use of cheaper night-time electricity units
and to minimise use of winter peak-rate units. This is especially
important for golf clubs which tend to be much less active during
Using less does not mean doing less – the goal here is to
eliminate waste. A good start would be to conduct an ‘energy
walk-round’. This should involve key members of staff and
club officials, both to help identify problems and opportunities,
and to ensure they feel part of the process.
Conducting a walk-round is simple; just walk round your premises
and note down what equipment is being used, how it is being used,
and where. There is a wide range of areas of opportunity to look
out for including lighting (indoors and outside), boiler rooms,
offices, function rooms, kitchens, bar, cellar, locker rooms, pro-shop,
store rooms. Include also the maintenance compound and irrigation
pump house if you have one.
It is sensible
to conduct a number of such walk-rounds at different times: e.g.
during normal opening hours, when the cleaners are on duty and at
off-peak times when the golf course is either little used, or unused.
By doing a series of such inspections, you will gain a much better
insight into how energy is being used and where the principal areas
of waste are occurring.
To help begin
to prioritise energy conservation actions, it would be best to place
the findings of the walk-rounds into simple categories:
- where energy
is being wasted through;
of awareness/missed opportunities
- where repair
or maintenance work is needed to reduce energy costs
- where there
is a need for capital investment to improve energy efficiency;
work to upgrade insulation, double glazing
boilers and heating system
in renewable energy sources
list of practical measures to implement is given in chapter 4. These
will give a useful guide to help you adopt the best approach for
your circumstances. It is up to each club to decide how it wants
to proceed and how many measures it wants to implement. Each situation
will be different. There is no definitive menu for achieving energy
efficiency but generally speaking, the more you do, the greater
the amount of savings and other benefits you will realise.
It is wise
to build up your energy efficiency programme, rather than trying
to do too much all at once. Look for ‘early-wins’, simple,
no-cost or low cost achievable actions that can be implemented straight
away. These will offer a good platform for future initiatives and
give the club membership and management confidence in the programme.
Control and monitor
Energy consumption is a continuous process. Likewise, energy conservation
has to be treated as an on-going policy. It is not a one-off exercise.
The goal should be continual improvement.
The best way
to achieve such continuity of purpose is to have an effective recording
and monitoring system. Large golf and leisure complexes –
e.g. Gleneagles – may take energy efficiency so seriously
that they have full time energy managers and a computerised Building
Management System, enabling precise control over all heating, water,
ventilation, air-conditioning and lighting.
is beyond the means of ordinary golf clubs but the principles are
just as valid. It is essential to keep a regular check on energy
consumption and bills so that you can see whether your energy efficiency
measures are having any effect. If there are any sudden blips or
surges in the normal pattern of energy consumption, you will be
able to identify the cause and remedy it as necessary.
from having a vigilant eye on energy consumption, is that you will
be able to identify and/or keep abreast with further cost saving
opportunities – e.g. tariff changes and other incentive schemes.
It does necessarily
involve some extra paperwork but it is worth it. If a couple of
dozen members decided not to bother paying their annual subscription,
you would hopefully notice they were overdue and do something about
it. So why waste the equivalent amount of money on not tightening
up your energy costs?