Reducing costs and promoting the business through energy efficiency

We make this effort because we believe that the Earth’s resources are finite and we need to help protect it”


What the company did

Over the years, the Killary Adventure Company has implemented a number of energy efficiency measures:

  • We have a Kingspan 6kW Wind Turbine which provides about 30% of the power to our business on a yearly basis.
  • We have a 200kW Biomass burner which provides heat and hot water to our accommodation base here in Killary.
  • We use an electric golf cart for our staff to travel between our two sites.
  • We have recently purchased a Ridan composter which will take up to 200 litres of food waste a week helping us to reduce our rubbish bill and putting our food waste to use as compost.
  • We have replaced most of our light bulbs with low-Watt or LED.
  • We have provided a location on site for community recycling units for glass and cans

The input in this over the last 5-6 years has been around €80,000 between capital costs, installation and training. Our energy and gas bills have been reduced to a certain level and we have seen the benefits among our staff of this effort to help protect the environment where we live and work. There were many challenges, among them Government red tape and lack of information, but we have persevered.

The Business Benefits

These energy efficiency actions have had a positive impact on our business in a number of different ways. We have reduced costs across the board on a number of different parts of the business from fuel to waste. Where we fall down is on the measurement of these reductions, we have no hard data on these reductions but we can see them borne out in the fall of our cost base.

The turbine has not been without its difficulties. The initial one we had was hit by lightning about a year ago and our present one has only been operational since November last year. However in this period it has produced over 7000 kWh which equates to a €1000 in electricity. The payback is 7-10 years, however it also a very visual indication of our efforts. You cannot miss it as you drive past the company grounds and many of our guests are very interested in how it works.

This year we have been shortlisted for the SEAI (Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland) energy awards and highly commended by the SFA (Small Firms Association) for our efforts in sustainability. However we don’t do it for other people, rather we make this effort because we believe as a management team that the Earth and her resources are finite and we need to make the effort, even on such a small scale, to help protect it.

The company

Killary Adventure is an outdoor adventure company based on Killary Fjord in West Galway. Since the company was started by Mary and Jaime Young back in 1981, we have grown and expanded over the years into our present location and facilities. We have a 100-bed accommodation base and activities for up to 200 people. Over the years we have grown and expanded in different areas; we own and operate Gaelforce Events offering 11 different races throughout the country and also Connemara Adventure Tours which offers cycling and walking tours all along the West coast for foreign tourists coming into Ireland. We employ 12 people full time and this rises to 50 for the period from March to October.

Lastly, we provide outdoor experiences to kids of all ages from 8-80, this is all done in a spectacular location embraced by nature. As a part of our programmes we provide information to all our groups on how we are doing our part to be sustainable.