'If we didn't upgrade, we'd go out of business'
SEAN Redmond and his family run Andy's Bar and Restaurant in Monaghan town. Energy bills have fallen by 20pc after upgrading insulation, installing solar panels and using more energy-efficient appliances in the kitchen.
A fire in the pub resulted in major building works, and the family decided to invest in the new technologies.
"The rebuild was about €500,000. One of the best investments we made was in solar panels. The system cost around €30,000 – our gas bills should be about €13,000 a year, but are about €6,500, the same cost as 2006."
"I think you really have to do this," Sean said. "It's only a small bar and restaurant, and if we don't do these things we could be out of business."
'IT'S ABOUT EFFICIENCIES &NDASH;
FOOD PRICES ARE DOWN'
KERRIGAN'S Mushrooms in Kells, Co Meath, employs 80 people and produces 45 tonnes of mushrooms weekly. Managing director John Kerrigan upgraded last year after seeing his energy bills skyrocket.
A woodchip boiler was installed – resulting in lower heating bills – along with new insulation, piping, energy efficient fans for cooling and heating.
"Our energy costs were rising and only going one way," he says. "We have easily saved 30pc – 40pc in energy costs alone, or €50,000 a year.
"It's really about efficiencies – costs are going down for foodstuffs. You have to find ways to become more efficient or you go out of business."