The Bacchus Hotel in Sutton-on-Sea aims to be the first holiday accommodation to remove as many emissions as it produces and play its part in the fight against global warming. Owner David Smith hopes his hotel will become a centre of excellence for renewables in Lincolnshire by educating and engaging with local business and projects on the digitalisation of the electricity network. David shares his thoughts and aspirations with us here.
Three years ago, David Smith found himself becoming increasingly concerned by climate change and how it might affect his local community. He was also becoming more aware of Government legislation, such as increasing tariffs on CO2 emissions and the digitisation of the electricity network, and wanted to ensure his business was ahead of the game when it came to going green.
“The consequences of not doing something to combat climate change are dire,” says David. “By embracing the situation, we’re not only doing our bit to save the planet but also saving money and future-proofing our business.”
The first step was to add 30kw of solar panels onto the roof and outbuildings of the hotel, which gave David the confidence to explore more eco-friendly options. The installation of ground-source heat pumps in the garden has since removed the need for gas for central heating, and last year David added another 40kw of solar panels, as well as a new battery storage system. The system collects energy from sunlight during the day, allowing the hotel to run on the stored energy overnight. The impact is that Bacchus has reduced its gas and electricity consumption by a huge 65%.
“We need to realise that the world is turning. The power grid systems are on the whole outdated and the infrastructure isn’t there, meaning many businesses find it hard to make these changes, or don’t know where to start.
“But there are many benefits to going the extra mile and embracing smart energy. Our heat pump system means we receive Renewable Heat Incentive payments from the Government, and we were the only applicants from North East Lincolnshire to receive funding for battery storage as part of the Smart Energy UK scheme.
“But most importantly, our systems save a massive 32 tons of CO2 emissions annually, and we are self-sufficient eight months of the year. Plus, with the energy we’re saving elsewhere during summer, we now have the power to supply an array of electric vehicle charge points throughout our car park.
"Although it may seem overwhelming at first, we believe that becoming net zero is attainable for businesses. We’re proud to be a model for others wanting to fight climate change, and hopefully, we can inspire others to do the same!”
David is now in the process of creating a new business and website called Hotel Net Zero and setting up a bespoke company to provide a turnkey system to address the new concept of battery storage, bespoke tariffs, grid operators, environmental agencies and grant availability.
“The last three years have been hard but the new concepts and the opportunities that they can present are out there, and they are very empowering, once people and businesses understand, start to embrace, and then become fascinated,” he says.
David wants to become a centre of excellence for renewables in Lincolnshire by educating and engaging with local businesses and working with public-sector developers to totally revolutionise people’s lives.
“Business which introduce micro generation/ battery systems sites such as those at the Bacchus will become key players in the strategic local energy distribution networks, which will be required throughout a sparsely populated area such as Lincolnshire,” says David.
The Smart Energy Scheme (Greater Lincolnshire) has been extended to September 2021. For further eligibility criteria or information visit www.smartenergygreaterlincs.com or contact Jose Stewart on 01472 323658 or 07525798172.
If you’d like to find out more about the Bacchus Hotel and the work they’re doing to combat climate change, contact them on 07999 487384 or visit their new website (under construction) at www.Hotelnetzero.co.uk.
Watch David's short video here.
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