In a Scottish region full of rugby enthusiasts, Gala Rugby Club lies at the heart of the local community in the Galashiels area. The Netherdale stadium, located close to the River Tweed, has been the home of the Club since 1912. Having recently started to seek ways to renovate the facilities and cut operational costs, the club engaged with Resource Efficient Scotland to look at ways to reduce its water and energy bills.
The Club benefitted from initial support from Resource Efficient Scotland in the form of an on-site assessment that focused on measures to reduce the costs for heating, lighting and water. In total potential savings worth over £21,000 were identified through reducing energy and water consumption.
While installing a new heating system was recommended, this was put on hold as it was reported that Scottish Water might be planning to install an anaerobic digestion plant close to Gala Rugby Club. It was thought the new plant might include a district heating system, which was likely to be a cheaper and more sustainable heating option for the Club than other heating options.
During the initial assessment, using photovoltaic (PV) technology was considered, but the site/facilities were not used significantly over the summer period, so it was decided that this was unlikely to be an economically attractive option. However, in the summer of 2015, the Scottish Rugby Union asked to use the facilities at Gala Rugby Club for various sporting activities including significant use over the summer. This made the case for PV technology more attractive. Therefore, the Club applied for and received a Resource Efficient Scotland SME loan to help it purchase and install PV panels.
It is expected that the PV installation will provide the Club with around 70% of its electricity consumption. This will reduce its annual energy costs by nearly £6,000 and carbon dioxide emissions by around 11 tonnes.