JMK Renewable Energy Systems have been contracted to install over 30 solar panels in Sleepzone Connemara along with infrastructure which will allow for the use of biomass fuels, and work is now underway.Sustainable Energy Ireland
(SEI) have part-financed the project through a grant under its ‘ReHeat’ programme which provides assistance for the deployment of renewable heating systems. The bulk of the financing is being provided through a combination of the company’s own resources and bank borrowing. Initial guidance by SEI advised the use of compact fluorescent efficient lighting in Sleepzone Connemara, which the hostel undertook immediately, reducing their energy costs by 35pc. Further recommendations for water conservation will be addressed during the second phase of the ongoing implementation of Sleepzone’s environmental policy. Electricity for both rural locations as well as for the Galway city centre property – Sleepzone Galway – is already wind-generated, supplied by Airtricity.
Sleepzone Director Ronan Garvey acknowledges that investment in environmentally-aware systems is costly, but says “with recession looming we are understandably aware that the long-term energy cost savings of this project are considerable. However as two of our three properties are located in areas that are world-renowned for their scenic qualities, we are also very conscious of our environmental responsibilities”.
Sleepzone Galway, which opened in April 2001, has been voted ‘Best Hostel in Ireland’ (2006) and ‘7th Best Hostel Worldwide’ (2004) on Hostelworld.com
, the internationally dominant online booking engine and information resource. It was joined by Sleepzone Connemara in March 2005 – a hunting lodge dating back to the 1800’s which has been fully converted to a 110-bed hostel combining dorms and the ever-more popular private en-suite rooms. The group added Sleepzone - The Burren in March 2007 after the purchase of a 3-star hotel and the alteration of some rooms to dorms. Ends