Sustainability & Green Credentials
One of our goals when escaping 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 early milestones was 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.
Ten years ago in February 2013 we marked the first anniversary of our solar PV installation and had generated a total of 6.7MWh - that's more electricity than used by two average households in a year (based on Ofgem figures).
As of February 2023 we have generated 78MWh - that's an average of over 19kWh a day for 11 years!
We continue to look at the opportunities for becoming self sufficient including Tesla Tiles and batteries.
Through ongoing refurbishment we have now replaced not just incandescent bulbs but almost all Compact Fluorescent Light-bulbs (CFLs), with the only exceptions being the fish pond UV light filters and little-used neon tubes in the garden sheds. Historically, the premises made a lot of use of halogen down-lights and all of these were replaced in 2015 (with some now occasionally being replaced for the first time around as they fail) Our conversion to holiday lets 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.
In 2014 we replaced 12x28W CFL lights in our passageways with 12x8W LED bulkhead lights. These lights are normally on from dusk til dawn. Additionally we have replaced the emergency lighting to include three 5W always-on LED lights, which means we can now switch the main bulkead illumination off at midnight as there is stil enough light for safety. Estimated annual saving: 1.2MWh
When we took over the property in 2011 we estimate our full lighting load was 8kW with the outside lighting alone nearly 5kW. We now estimate it is under a single Kilowatt with the outside lighting 450W.
We have fully computerised our gas central heating system meaning we can remotely turn off radiators in all guest accommodation which is unoccupied as soon as the guests have checked out.
During the energy crisis we now monitor almost all our main electrical circuits and have found opportunities for energy saving, for example by turning the hot water trace heating off over night - this alone saves approximately 8kW per day.
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.
When we were a guest house, we used to 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. Now as a provider of self-catering holiday accommodation we include details of shops selling local produce including farm shops in our guest information.
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 mot self-catering accommodation providers, we offer stays from as little as one night. We also have secure storage for cycles.
Electrical Vehicle Charging Points
We have installed two EV chargers for recharging electrical vehicles. The most common electirc vehicle owned by our guests appears to be the Tesla!
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.