The state of energy affairs: Golf's path to reducing and saving
|"Energy Use and Energy Conservation Practices on U.S. Golf Courses covers energy use throughout golf facilities, including clubhouses, maintenance facilities, equipment and amenities.
By Christina Slape
As the U.S. faces the reality of rising energy costs, the debate over conservation strategies, alternative fuels and renewable energy sources has heated up. Energy use is a critical element of sustainability – for the golf industry, its intrinsically connected to facility operations, course maintenance, water use, equipment and product manufacturing, community relations, customer satisfaction and of course, the bottom line.
The good news for golf facilities is they now have the tools and technology available to make significant advancements in energy conservation practices. With planning and a long-term view by the entire management team and clientele, facilities of all types can improve efficiency, cut costs, advance regulatory compliance, and demonstrate their environmental stewardship.
For the golf industry as a whole it was also important to establish a baseline of how energy was consumed and existing conservation strategies. GCSAA undertook the effort to collect energy use data with the fourth survey in its Golf Course Environmental Profile. The report, "Energy Use and Energy Conservation Practices on U.S. Golf Courses," was funded by the Environmental Institute for Golf and The Toro Giving Program and recently released. A companion article was published in the April issue of GCM magazine.
The survey covered energy use throughout golf facilities, including clubhouses, maintenance facilities, equipment and amenities. Data was collected on the total amount of electricity, propane, natural gas, heating oil, gasoline and diesel, as well as information about respondents' conservation practices. The results not only offer the golf industry a snapshot of current use, but also provide a useful tool for comparing data from future surveys to identify change. In addition, it allows golf course and facility managers to compare their facilities with similar operations, provides data to compare golf industry use with other sectors, and gives scientists accurate information to refine carbon footprint calculations.
The report reveals some key differences in energy use across the country, primarily because of climatic variation and the varying lengths of golf seasons. Facility size and the availability of power and fuel choices and overall consumption.
Full article »