Feakle (wood of the deer as Gaeilge) is located just 20 minutes from both Ennis and Killaloe and less than an hour to the Cliffs of Moher. It has the tranquillity of an small unspoilt village which also plays host to a thriving Irish traditional music scene, evident in the local bars from Wednesday to Sunday.
We are in the center of the East Clare walkways and on the edge of the Slieve Aughty mountain range. We are a short distance from Lough Derg, Lough Graney and Lough Atorick. Over the years we have welcomed musicians, horticulturists, anglers, walkers, cyclists, golf societies, wedding parties, dinner parties, concert audiences, theatre companies and people taking part in well-being retreats.
A Significant Building
Clare Ecolodge at Loughnane’s in Feakle has been designated by the Irish State as a building of significant historical, architectural interest and members of the public are invited to view the building (free of charge) at the following times from June 1 to August 31 from Wednesday to Sunday between 2pm and 6pm.
Clare Ecolodge; The Energy Story:
Clare Ecolodge was created in 2018 to signify the changes which we have implemented over the past two years at Loughnane’s Guesthouse/ Hostel.
We have converted all our rooms in the main house to large private double and family rooms.
In May 2018 we installed 30 Solar Photovoltaic (PV) panels on the roof of the main building. Look up and see for yourself!
Since then we have been producing between 20 to 60kw hours per day.
In May 2018 we also installed an air to water heat pump system. This is a low usage eco-water heating system powered by electricity.
This heats all our water requirements for showers, laundry and kitchen requirements. We have not turned on our oil burner since installation.
The average yearly energy requirements for an Irish household is approximately 4000kwh. Our energy system has produced this in the past 3 months. In that time we have avoided 2.5 tonnes of CO2.
We use between 5 and 15kwh per day. The surplus is sent back to the grid at the transformer at the top of the village. We currently receive zero compensation for the excess electricity we generate but the ESB charges the community for the usage of this electricity.
We estimate that we are currently at least 50% off-gird.
Our main hot water and energy requirements are in the summer months. In high season there are more showers used and laundry needed. Our current energy system can handle this with little effort.
For the past decade we have been growing our own vegetables and herbs for use in our kitchen.
Next phase – Winter time
Our Solar PV panels are powered by light rather than heat so will work in winter, albeit not for periods as long in the summer.
We aim to install a battery storage system so we can manage the energy we generate to be used at the most opportune times.
We aim to install a second heat pump for our central heating requirements. This will effectively reduce our oil consumption to zero.
We aim to install a wind turbine system on our 12 acre farm behind the main house. This will be used as a back up to bridge the energy generation gap between winter and summer.
We aim to be among the first businesses to generate all of our energy requirements and to be energy self-sufficient.
We want to highlight the benefits and viability of micro energy generation schemes for rural businesses and communities.