Tag Archives: Get Solutions

The Boom meant High Energy Bills

The Celtic Tiger has a lot to answer for according to Noel Kenny, owner and manager of the popular Spar Convenience Store in Leopardstown. Back in the boom, lighting engineers and experts were brought in to create a uniform and stunning lighting experience in all the
Spar retail outlets, but at the expense of high energy bills.

‘The lighting looked great but everything about them was very expensive from the bulbs to the fixtures,’ says Noel. ‘Moreover we only got 5000 hours from each bulb which was disappointing as we now expect ten times that from modern, quality LED bulbs’

Noel understood that the market had moved on and began to explore other options. At the height of his bills, he was paying out in excess of €3000 per month on energy. ‘That is a lot of money and when I saw that LED could slash my costs by a third, or even a half, I knew it was a no brainer to investigate alternatives.’

Noel went to market and set up a three way competitive tender process. He rejected the first two on the basis of lack of knowledge and inexperience. However, the third, Get Solutions really impressed him through a combination of energy expertise, a proven track record and sound customer referrals.

‘I had been warned off cowboy institutions and so it was satisfying to meet a company that not only knew what they were doing but they also could point me to other successful installations. That gave me peace of mind,’ says Noel.

The entire cost of the refit was in the order of €20,000. As Charlie Grendon, managing director of Get Solutions, explained his company is working with AIB who can provide low cost loans with interest rates of 4.5%.

‘While Noel was not even a customer of AIB, through our strong relationship with AIB Noel was able to secure the low cost, low hassle loan. Despite borrowing a large sum, the return on investment is budgeted for 2.2 years,’ says Charlie. ‘After that, the savings all accrue back to Noel directly.’

As Noel was very pleased with the service offered by Get Solutions, he also placed his energy procurement with the same company. ‘I trust them and they save me significant money, so it made sense to place all my energy business in one place,’ says Noel.

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William Hanley, SuperValu

SuperValu in North Clondalkin slashes €50,000 off its energy bills

SuperValu in Rowlagh, North Clondakin, has shaved a massive €50,000 off its energy bills through a combination of clever procurement, LED switching and updating refrigeration equipment.

The new build convenience store was built by William Hanley on a brownfield site and opened in 2005. It is a large premises covering some 15,500 square feet, of which 10,000 is retail. The shop is open seven days a week from 8am until 10pm and employs 50 people.

William hails from a farming background in Limerick but moved into retail at an early age first as a trainee with Quinnsworth before travelling up through the ranks at SuperValu. He opened his first shop in Dunboyne in 1997 before selling in 2002 and moving to his larger shop in Rowlagh.

‘While our shop here is relatively new build, after eleven years we found our lighting, especially our old tubes, were starting to fail,’ says William. ‘Around the same time we were introduced to Get Solutions through the independent Convenience store association, the CSNA. We decided it made sense to look at their offerings.’

Get Solutions is an energy specialist company offering its clients significant savings in energy provision through a variety of solutions. The solution that appealed to William was their free audit on his lighting and a subsequent report on the savings that could be achieved.

‘Get Solutions came in and did a thorough audit of the store,’ says William. ‘The report they produced was very detailed and outlined which lights to switch out, what should replace them, where we could improve our lighting quality and how much we would save. At the end of the day it was a no brainer. Every light was replaced with the peace of mind of a minimum five year guarantee included for all fittings.’

William also chose to finance the investment of €34,000 in the new lighting through AIB. ‘It was a very simple procedure,’ says William. ‘Once I had the forms filled in online the loan was approved and  I simply had to pop into the local AIB branch and it took five minutes to have the loan agreement signed.’

William now expects for the savings in energy to repay for the cost of LED switchout in 3.7 years.

William’s annual energy bill had hovered around the €120,000 mark. ‘Aside from the financial benefit, it is better for the environment to use less energy and any future energy cost increases will impact less on the business. This is something that is really important to me. Working with Get Solutions was a great experience and I can totally recommend them,’ he says.

 

McGuires Switches to LED and saves €2500 in just over 2 years

McGuires, or as it is now named the Daybreak Shop, in the heart of the Claddagh area of Galway has upgraded its lighting to 100 percent LED and saved €2518 as a direct result in its energy costs.

McGuires is a Galway institution and has been operational since 1935 when the mother of the current owner, Arthur McGuire, opened the doors. The shop is large at 1,500 square feet and employs 13 staff. It is open seven days a week from 645am in the morning until 10pm at night.

Arthur grew up watching his parents working long hours and two jobs. ‘My father was a mechanic by day and owned and manged the pub next door,’ says Arthur. ‘My mother ran the shop. Back in the 30s and 40s times were hard and people thought nothing of working two jobs to put bread on the table.’

Arthur has followed his parent’s example and is in the shop every day. He lives above the shop in an apartment and really never off duty.

‘However I love the work, so it is not a chore,’ he says. ‘My mother was rigorous in her standards and I follow suit. It takes a lot of work to ensure everything is in tip top condition but it pays in the end.

‘I have also over the years learned to anticipate what my clients need. There is a saying,’ and here Arthur laughs, ‘if you can’t get it in McGuires then you can’t get it anywhere. We pride ourselves in delivering the best.’

The shop is located in the heart of the city between the Claddagh historic area and the Spanish Arch. There are many shops, restaurants, offices and schools nearby. As a result the shop benefits from a high footfall from local traffic as well as tourists.

The shop has developed over the years and boasts a full deli and off licence. In fact the shop has won Convenience Store of the Year in the Daybreak group for the past two years and has been named the best wine centre within the same group for the past six years. ‘We must be doing something right,’ says Arthur.

Arthur first looked at the issue of LED lighting when he read about the possible savings from his national independent lobbying organisation, the CSNA.

‘I received an email which recommended Get Solutions as an energy partner,’ says Arthur. ‘So I invited them in to do a free audit of the premises.’

The resultant report showed that by replacing the traditional lights with LED lighting Arthur could reduce his lighting costs by some 60%. He decided to make the change. He borrowed the capital, approximately €8000 from Bank of Ireland. It was offered at a special rate of 4.5% and he also qualified for an energy grant.

‘I could have paid for the capital investment but it made sense to stretch the payments over the 2.4 years in which time the loan would be repaid with interest and the savings then harvested directly by the business.

‘I was of course very keen to obtain the financial savings,’ says Arthur. ‘Another benefit is that since the lights are guaranteed for five years there is no cost to swapping out tubes. That used to be the bane of my life before as well as being very costly.’

Another benefit which Arthur did not expect was the change in lighting. ‘Customers really like the new lighting. For example, the back wall consists of the dairy wall fridge where our diary produce is displayed. The new lighting draws the customers in and we have seen sales improve there as a result.’

Overall Arthur is delighted with the savings and the lighting. ‘We always want to do our best here and the new lighting really reflects that,’ he says.

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