Chris Nightingale, of Telford & Wrekin HC, looks at the facts of figures and switching over to smart switches
“Telford and Wrekin Hockey Club has their own pitch, so any usage of the floodlights is directly billed to us. A recent review showed that the current raw cost is approximately £8 per hour for the whole pitch.
We are reviewing our pitch rental charges and finalising the clubs 2022/23 budget and this cost is being factored.
The pitch is fully in use all day on match Saturdays and hockey training runs from Monday to Thursday over the winter season. Plus we host two Summer League competitions two nights a week over the summer. This is before external usage by county hockey/third party hires.
Our Saturday fixtures already start at 10am so we are unable/unreasonable to move forward anymore.
In the past there was a seven-day timer pre-set to switch on the lights and off at the end of the sessions. This can have some negatives for example, if training was cancelled or finished early, the lights stayed on till 10pm even though no one was there.
Twelve months ago we changed the timer over to smart switches and now each coach, captain and umpire has a phone app and can switch the floodlights on and off at anytime we need. We can now choose exactly when the lights need to come on as the daylight decreases instead of pre planning and having the lights switch on too early. The new smart switch allows easy half pitch only selection also which brings its own efficiency when training or external bookings just require this.
By having this control, we now do true ON to OFF sessions as needed making us as efficient by use as we can get it. Plus it is fully audited too in case we have any incidents etc.
Moving forward the club has already started supplier enquiries for changing over to LEDs and we will spend the rest of this year finalising the detail and appointing a contractor for replacement early 2023.
In parallel we will be looking for available energy efficiency grant schemes to help complete our funding programme.