Energy costs significantly affect Il Corniolo’s activities. As a farm-stay, which combines agricultural operations with accommodation services, the business needs energy to provide a comfortable environment for its guests, to run the internal laundry, the swimming pool and the sauna. A considerable amount of energy is also used for the farming activities, which will expand in 2017 due to the production of juices and fruit drying.
Il Corniolo has two photovoltaic installations in place with 15kWh total energy production. Moreover, it installed energy saving lamps. However, these two measures, combined with restricted knowledge about energy management and a lack of time, proved to be insufficient to substantially reduce the business’ energy costs and consumption. Being aware of the importance of controlling energy costs to achieve savings, Il Corniolo therefore needed assistance to get a full picture of its energy efficiency potential, to improve the monitoring system and to deploy effective low-cost energy efficiency measures.
The company’s new energy strategy focused on energy management, particularly with regard to the most energy consuming installations. Based on this and behavioural changes (switching off boilers, heating and cooling systems and regulation of the lighting level), it succeeded in reducing its energy use by 15% since the start of the project in 2014.
Additionally, the owner introduced an automated procedure with cascading action and an automatic control system. This optimises consumption and achieves the best balance between the use of solar energy on the one hand and biomass and gas-based generation on the other. This activity, based on a € 2,500 investment will lead to an additional 5% cost reduction. The action plan put in place by the company lowered the indicator kWh/number of visitors by 39% from 2014 to 2016.
Il Corniolo is now able to offer better services to its guests by minimising the time required to provide hot water and heated rooms. Energy bills have also reduced. Moreover, the time invested in better energy monitoring allows more guests to be accommodated and has increased their satisfaction.
Supported by Camera di Commercio di Lucca