The Groundsman

June 2012

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the Groundsman June 2012 FEATURE 17 So, how were these savings achieved? The Energy Plan has been implemented through a number of approaches (see panel item, page 14) and in particular through the installation of a total of 51 Solar PV panels. Costing £50, 000 and funded 50/50 by grants from the Low Carbon Building Fund and the Big Lottery Sustainability Fund, these were installed on the club's south-facing roof in August 2009, initially, as an energy saving measure for club use (to heat water for the showers, kitchen and toilets). There was, however, also the added benefit of payment at the rate of 9p/kWh for electricity generated through the Government scheme of Renewable Obligation Certificates (ROCs) and, from March 2010, the Government introduced the Feed-in Tariff to encourage the micro-generation of electricity from renewable sources. During the following year, the solar panels generated 8,375 kWh of electricity, resulting in a direct payment of £3,149. Given that the total use of electricity during the same period was 24,946 kWh at a future average rate of 12p/kWh = £2,993, the club is currently in a position where the total electricity bill is self-funding. The club also looked at its water usage. After 25 years of dispute with North West Water and subsequently with United Utilities over incorrect billing, there has been a significant and long overdue change of procedure which has led to an improved position for the club. That said, since the club depends on outside lets to maintain an income stream – around £15,000 per annum from these, combined with circa £5,000 annual subscriptions, £5,000 per year from allowing Vodafone to position a mast on the property, plus income from sponsorship - more functions/usage leads to greater use of the toilets and kitchen, and therefore the use of more water for washing and cleaning. Measures taken so far to address excessive water usage include the removal of automatic flushing systems to urinals (replaced by tap) and the use of push-taps on all hand basins. For the future, the plan is to install a rainwater harvesting system and to use recycled water on grounds maintenance (the cricket square and tennis courts). Dry waste management - general waste produced by visitors, plus bottles and cardboard and paper produced by the bar – was also addressed, and by changing the way and frequency of waste collections (ie using separate bins for general, glass and card/paper) disposal costs have been reduced and the volume of waste disposed to landfill has been halved. The green waste produced by the cricket ground is disposed around the ground; the compost is left to decompose then fed back into the surrounding ground. Today, the club is adamant that the aims of the Environment Plan and Policy Document remain. The position since the start of the The 2011 IOG Industry Award for Environmental Project of the Year was sponsored by Ransomes Jacobsen, www.ransomesjacobsen.co.uk, and the submission by Ashton on Mersey Cricket and Tennis Club was supported by the English & Wales Cricket Board – indeed, the ECB is using the club's achievements as an example in energy management, cost saving and long term sustainability via its website: Andrew Roscoe (right) and John Watling collect their IOG Award from Gina Putnam of category sponsor, Ransomes Jacobsen http://www.ecb.co.uk/development/fa cilities-funding/sustainable- clubs/energy,2636,BP.html and www.ecb.co.uk/sustainableclubs five-year plan is completely altered, but it knows that further savings can be made by continued careful management of energy use within the building and by ongoing investment in low energy technology, as well as by an increase in energy produced from renewable sources – hence the current investigations into funding for the installation of ground source heat pumps for general heating. "There are few clubs within sport that are demonstrating the way to reduce energy use," says John. "Here at Ashton on Mersey Cricket and Tennis Club we aim to be a national and local leader in energy and environmental management, providing an example not only to other sporting clubs but also to visitors. "In addition," he concludes, "another important aspect of the project was the need to educate club members about the energy they use while at the club. Natural resources are finite and to continue to enjoy the benefits of energy into the future we have to educate young people on how to reduce energy use and give guidance on renewable energy production. We have a large number of junior members aged between 6 and 18, and by seeing the energy use reduction processes in action we hope it will encourage them to continue the tradition and to build on what we have done."

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