The Brunswick Moviebowl has become the first cinema in Ireland to use solar panels as a source of energy.
The seven screen movie, bowling and entertainment complex installed 160 solar panels last month and have reduced their energy consumption by a massive 20 per cent in the process.
“Like many businesses we want to make sure we are doing our fair share for the environment and installing the solar panels seemed to us like a great idea,” said Brunswick Moviebowl co-owner, Edmund Simpson.
“We’ve installed LED lighting right throughout the building and since we installed the solar panels we have managed to reduce the amount of energy we are consuming by 20 per cent,” he added.
The Brunswick Moviebowl have been operating out of their Pennyburn Industrial Estate base for 24 years and the business employees 150 people.
The 160 newly installed solar panels have the ability to produce 40 kilowatts per hour. The energy produced by the solar panels would be enough to power ten average households.
“It’s great from our point of view because as you’d imagine operating a cinema uses a lot of electricity.
“We’ve worked it out, when the solar panels are operating at their best they create enough power to service the entire cinema.”
When it comes to solar energy the Brunswick Moviebowl find themselves in a bit of a Catch 22 situation.
The business needs the sun to shine to convert the solar power into energy but in periods of enjoyable weather customers are less likely to visit the cinema.
“It’s funny when you think about it like that,” laughed Edmund.
“But all joking apart we are over the moon to be the first cinema in the island of Ireland to be using solar panels.
“It’s what we are about here at the Brunswick Moviebowl. We are keen to try new things and as long as they better the experience of our customer and our business then we will definitely give them a go.
“It makes business sense to do this because the price of electricity here is ridiculous. It’s costing too much money and any industries that consume a lot of electricity face a tough fight for survival.
“I always remember the story of when the price of bread used to be regulated by Boland’s bakery in the south many years ago. As a result of the bread being regulated it was at a high price but when the price was no longer regulated the cost of a loaf came down overnight - hopefully the same thing will happen with electricity soon,” he said.