The Aviemore and Glenmore Community Trust has made significant energy cost savings at its ice rink through the installation of a new chilling plant, purchased with joint grant funding. The trust has also undertaken insulation works, resulting in additional energy savings. The goal is to reduce energy consumption by over 75% this winter.
In a commendable effort to reduce energy costs, the Aviemore and Glenmore Community Trust has taken proactive measures to make their ice rink more energy efficient. With the installation of a new chilling plant, the trust has been able to reap significant energy cost savings. This addition, purchased with joint grant funding from the Cairngorms National Park Authority, Highland Council, and Highlands and Islands Enterprise, has proven to be a worthwhile investment.
Running an ice rink requires a substantial amount of energy, which is the second highest operating cost for the trust after staffing. Recognizing this, the ice rink team has consistently sought ways to mitigate energy costs. In the summer of 2022, with the help of volunteers, extensive works were undertaken to insulate the rink floor and install Low-E insulation to the marquee roof and walls. These works alone resulted in energy savings of around 40%.
Despite these energy-saving measures, the trust still faced high annual rental costs for hiring ice refrigeration plant. To address this issue, they began investigating the costs of purchasing their own chillers. With funding support from the CNPA, council, and HIE, the trust was able to purchase new energy-efficient chillers and pumps, saving the rink approximately £40,000 in rental costs.
The new chilling plant has exceeded expectations, and the trust is now aiming to reduce energy consumption by over 75% this winter. Previously, the rink was using over 550kWh of energy per day, costing around £220. However, with the new plant, the operating cost has been reduced to £70 per day, with the goal of further reducing it to around £55 per day during peak winter.
Trust coordinator Kirsty Bruce expressed her excitement about the new chillers and the potential for heat recovery from them. The energy savings achieved while operating from a marquee are remarkable, and Bruce imagines even greater savings in a super insulated semi-permanent or permanent building.
Since its opening in October 2021, the ice rink has attracted nearly 45,000 skaters and visitors, becoming an important facility for both tourists and local youngsters. The trust’s ultimate goal is to develop a full-sized, permanent ice rink. In addition, they have successfully reintroduced ice curling to Aviemore and are exploring the possibility of creating a full-size outdoor curling sheet at the rink.
The trust is also working on plans to offer all P7 pupils in the strath (a valley or wide river valley) a free four-week learn-to-curl block, further promoting ice sports and engaging the local community.
Overall, the Aviemore and Glenmore Community Trust’s efforts to reduce energy costs at the ice rink are commendable. Through insulation works and the installation of energy-efficient chillers, they have achieved significant energy savings. Their commitment to sustainability and their goal of developing a full-sized, permanent ice rink demonstrate their dedication to providing a valuable and eco-friendly facility for the community.