Sustainability and Green Credentials
One of our goals when "retiring" from the rat race to own and run Chale Bay Farm has been to live in harmony with the local environment and to show that one can very much run a successful business while still "giving back" to the community and environment.
One of our major milestones has been to install a signficant Solar PV array which is rated at nearly 7KW. A typical medium-sized house uses approx 9kWh of electricity per day; that’s an average of 375W/hour – in ideal Summer conditions this means it takes less than an hour and a half for our Solar Array to generate the same amount of electricity as powers a typical house for a day.
We use more electricity than a normal house, but even so on a good sunny day, a lot of the time during daylight hours we are generating twice as much electricity as we need, and at these times are exporting enough to the national grid to power as many as 8 average homes.
In February 2013 we marked the first anniversary of our solar PV installation and have generated a total of 6.7MWh - that's more electricity than used by two average households in a year (based on Ofgem figures).
We are also looking at the opportunities for Wind generation using the latest state-of-the art vertical axis wind turbines (VAWT) which can be moulded into our landscape without blighting the sky line for either our guests or users of the nearby coastal path - this would generate a further 4KW and help make us self-sufficient for much of the night-time period.
As part of our refurbishment we have now swapped out almost all incandescent light-bulbs with Compact Fluorescent Light-bulbs (CFLs) and are replacing interior bulbs as they blow. Historically, the premises makes a lot of use of halogen down-lights and we have initiated a programme to reduce the wattage using modern more light efficient bulbs with the aim of reducing consumption by 50% by the end of 2012. Our refurbishment has also given us the opportunity to install more economical modern devices such as TVs that not only are more energy efficient in general operation but also switch themselves off if left unattended.
We recycle approximately 90% of our commercially generated waste, except for contaminated and food waste, including glass, plastic, cans, paper, card and cardboard, batteries and printer cartridges.
Like many guest houses, we pride ourselves on using local produce and where reasonably possible most of our dairy and meat products used at breakfast are sourced from local suppliers. We grow many of our own herbs for cooking.
We pride ourselves in creating employment opportunities for the Isle of Wight and especially our local corner of the island. All of our regular employees and regular tradespeople we use live within 5 miles of Chale Bay Farm. Almost of our regular suppliers are island-based.
Walking and Cycling
We are great supporters of walkers and cyclists visiting the island and, unlike many guest houses and hotels, we offer single night stays. We work closely with two walking firms to provide a key accommodation link on the Coastal Path and its route along the West Wight cliff top. We also have secure storage for cycles.
Green Vehicle Charging Points
We are signed up to the island's initiative in connection with green vehicle charging points and now we have completed the installation of our solar system we are investigating installing our own vehicle charging solution unilaterally in the next phase of our refurbishments.
AONB and Dark Skies
Being in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), we have been very careful to make sure all of our refurbishments are in keeping with the local environment, ensuring that technology such as our satellite systems and wireless internet links are hidden from view and even that our Solar PV installation was carefully designed to completely and symmetrically fit the section of roof on which it is installed so that from a distance it is unnoticable and close up it looks like it was made to be there.
South West Wight is arguably one of the best "Dark Skies" locations in the south of the UK and the design of our exterior lighting coupled with CFL bulbs, as well as blackout curtains in the rooms, minimises atmospheric light pollution, whilst still rendering the property safe and also attractive at ground level. We are able to turn the entire exterior lighting off for Astronomy evenings, and whilst we can't promise you Bortle class 1, there is excellent viewing available on cloudless nights.