08 Feb 2018 | 11.23 am
BGE Interview: Eoin Loughnane, Castleknock Hotel & Country Club
‘New lights in bedrooms and corridors resulted in energy savings of 75%’
08 Feb 2018 | 11.23 am
In this series, Bord Gáis Energy is sharing details on some of its SME customers and their business successes. This month, we feature Eoin Loughnane (pictured), Financial Controller at Castleknock Hotel & Country Club
How did you get started in the hotel industry?
I qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 2006 and I spent the next two years travelling and working in Australia. On returning home to Dublin in 2008 I joined Castleknock Hotel as Financial Controller. The next few years were difficult for the hotel sector, as it was for many industries.
However, in these years we put strong controls in place and built an excellent team in the hotel. This enabled us to capitalise on the upturn in the industry in recent years. We have just completed a 52-bedroom extension and the hotel is going from strength to strength.
Have you seen much change in the hotel business?
The biggest change is in the monitoring of data. We analyse everything in great detail from sales trends to electricity and gas usage. We strive to have extremely accurate information to inform our business decisions. IT systems have helped dramatically in this regard.
What advice would you give to someone starting off in the hotel business?
For an accountant, beginning your career in audit is a fantastic base for giving you exposure to a variety of industries. This will enable you to identify industries of interest where you may wish to work in the future.
For me, the move into the hotel industry has been extremely rewarding and I’m grateful for the opportunity to work in such a fast-paced and dynamic environment. It’s very exciting to see a hotel performing well and it is extremely busy on a daily basis.
How important is it for you to monitor costs?
Benchmarking and monitoring costs is vital to ensure we maximise profitability in the hotel. As a part of the new extension, we have upgraded our BMS system and are implementing new metering for all areas of the hotel. We are looking forward to seeing the savings this will help us to identify in 2018.
How important is energy efficiency for your business?
We have always had a focus on energy efficiency over the years. We installed a Combined Heat and Power unit in 2013, which provides over 30% of our electricity. We would see annual savings of greater than 30% thanks to our CHP unit.
Our maintenance manager, Darren Greer, is very proactive in relation to our electricity, gas and water usage and we would regularly analyse new projects for energy efficiency and potential savings for the hotel. Our new extension is fully fitted out with LEDs and energy efficient devices. This has been a big focus since the start of the project.
In your business, how do you ensure energy efficiency?
Monitoring our energy usage and benchmarking through our Procurement Group, Smart Power, is very important for us.
How has Bord Gáis Energy helped with this?
In 2017, we installed new lights in all of our bedrooms and bedroom corridors which resulted in energy savings of 75% in these areas. Bord Gáis Energy were a great support to us with this project, providing energy credit which ensured that the project would pay for itself in less than two years. We have also received excellent value on our energy contracts over the last number of years.
- See www.castleknockhotel.com for more information. For expert tips and advice on growing your own business, visit www.bgebusinesshub.ie
Visit www.businessenergy.ie or call 1850 211 907 to find out about the products and services Bord Gáis Energy provides.