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McGuires Switches to LED and saves €2500 in just over 2 years

McGuires, or as it is now named the Daybreak Shop, in the heart of the Claddagh area of Galway has upgraded its lighting to 100 percent LED and saved €2518 as a direct result in its energy costs.

McGuires is a Galway institution and has been operational since 1935 when the mother of the current owner, Arthur McGuire, opened the doors. The shop is large at 1,500 square feet and employs 13 staff. It is open seven days a week from 645am in the morning until 10pm at night.

Arthur grew up watching his parents working long hours and two jobs. ‘My father was a mechanic by day and owned and manged the pub next door,’ says Arthur. ‘My mother ran the shop. Back in the 30s and 40s times were hard and people thought nothing of working two jobs to put bread on the table.’

Arthur has followed his parent’s example and is in the shop every day. He lives above the shop in an apartment and really never off duty.

‘However I love the work, so it is not a chore,’ he says. ‘My mother was rigorous in her standards and I follow suit. It takes a lot of work to ensure everything is in tip top condition but it pays in the end.

‘I have also over the years learned to anticipate what my clients need. There is a saying,’ and here Arthur laughs, ‘if you can’t get it in McGuires then you can’t get it anywhere. We pride ourselves in delivering the best.’

The shop is located in the heart of the city between the Claddagh historic area and the Spanish Arch. There are many shops, restaurants, offices and schools nearby. As a result the shop benefits from a high footfall from local traffic as well as tourists.

The shop has developed over the years and boasts a full deli and off licence. In fact the shop has won Convenience Store of the Year in the Daybreak group for the past two years and has been named the best wine centre within the same group for the past six years. ‘We must be doing something right,’ says Arthur.

Arthur first looked at the issue of LED lighting when he read about the possible savings from his national independent lobbying organisation, the CSNA.

‘I received an email which recommended Get Solutions as an energy partner,’ says Arthur. ‘So I invited them in to do a free audit of the premises.’

The resultant report showed that by replacing the traditional lights with LED lighting Arthur could reduce his lighting costs by some 60%. He decided to make the change. He borrowed the capital, approximately €8000 from Bank of Ireland. It was offered at a special rate of 4.5% and he also qualified for an energy grant.

‘I could have paid for the capital investment but it made sense to stretch the payments over the 2.4 years in which time the loan would be repaid with interest and the savings then harvested directly by the business.

‘I was of course very keen to obtain the financial savings,’ says Arthur. ‘Another benefit is that since the lights are guaranteed for five years there is no cost to swapping out tubes. That used to be the bane of my life before as well as being very costly.’

Another benefit which Arthur did not expect was the change in lighting. ‘Customers really like the new lighting. For example, the back wall consists of the dairy wall fridge where our diary produce is displayed. The new lighting draws the customers in and we have seen sales improve there as a result.’

Overall Arthur is delighted with the savings and the lighting. ‘We always want to do our best here and the new lighting really reflects that,’ he says.

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