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First winner of Center Parcs’ ‘Home Energy Savers’ scheme announced

Press release   •   Mar 18, 2014 00:00 GMT

The inaugural winner of Center Parcs’ industry first energy saving initiative has been announced. The ‘Home Energy Savers’ scheme encouraged employees to reduce and monitor their energy consumption in their own homes in three categories: Gas; Electricity and Water.

The overall winner, Joanne McConnell from Workington, saved an incredible £539 on her previous year’s bills and won both the Gas and Electricity categories. Joanne won £7,000 of home energy saving improvements to her home.

Joanne, who works in the Housekeeping team at Center Parcs Whinfell Forest, has been working at Center Parcs for 13 years. Center Parcs’ CEO, Martin Dalby, surprised Joanne with her award whilst she was at work.

“I was so shocked I nearly fell off my chair!” said Joanne. “I’m absolutely thrilled to have won. We learned so much about the effect of the everyday things we do on the planet and we’ll definitely keep using the energy saving methods we’ve been using.

“We’re still thinking about what to do with our prize, but we’re considering having solar panels fitted to the house.”

Martin Dalby praised Joanne’s achievement, saying “Joanne showed exceptional determination to reduce her energy consumption. We were particularly impressed with Joanne’s use of the smart-meter to help her understand her electricity usage and costs.”

Alongside Joanne, the other Center Parcs employees who took part in this year’s scheme made an average saving of £142 each. In total, employees who took part reduced their carbon usage by 40 tonnes and saved £4,416 on their previous year’s spending.

Martin Dalby added, “I have been so inspired by hearing about what our colleagues have done in their efforts to reduce carbon and am absolutely delighted to announce that we will run the scheme again in 2014.”

Joanne’s top tips for saving energy

  1. Use a clothes horse to dry your clothes rather than a tumble dryer

  2. Adjust the thermostats on radiators so that you only heat the rooms you need to heat

  3. Use a steamer when you’re cooking to save gas

  4. Turn all electrical appliances off completely – don’t leave them on standby all day

Contact information

Center Parcs Press Office

Telephone: 01623 821733


Sustainability facts and figures

Committed to enhancing the forest and wider environment, Center Parcs aims to be one of the leading sustainable ‘Large Scale Tourist Destinations’ in the UK.  The Center Parcs Sustainability Strategy, launched in 2011, promises to reduce Center Parcs carbon emissions by 20% and produce 10% of its energy from renewable sources by 2020.  Center Parcs currently uses a variety of different energy saving choices including:

  • New and refreshed accommodation projects have included environmentally efficient technology such as:
    • Ground source heating
    • Solar panels
    • Photovoltaic
    • Combined heat and power plants
    • Energy-saving LED lighting
    • Water-efficient showers
    • Low-energy kitchen appliances
    • Intelligent thermostats
  • Electric vehicle fleet for housekeeping and technical services

Center Parcs is investing in energy efficiency and renewable technologies - such as District Heating - to achieve the aim of consuming 25% less than the average existing Center Parcs village. 

Notes to Editors

  1. Center Parcs has five Villages across the UK; Sherwood Forest in Nottinghamshire, Elveden Forest in Suffolk, Longleat Forest in Wiltshire, Whinfell Forest in Cumbria and Woburn Forest in Bedfordshire which opened to guests on 6 June 2014
  2. As the leader in the UK short break holiday market, Center Parcs regularly achieves average annual occupancy in excess of 97%
  3. Center Parcs offers weekend, (Friday to Monday) or midweek (Monday to Friday) breaks and welcomes over 1.7 million guests each year, with 96% of guests expressing an intention to return
  4. The Center Parcs concept is to provide a range of high quality accommodation, shops, restaurants and exceptional leisure facilities, carefully nestled amongst 400 acres of protected forest environment
  5. This concept originated in Holland in 1967, with the first UK Center Parcs opening in 1987. Center Parcs is now a separate entity in the UK, owned by The Blackstone Group
  6. Center Parcs has been awarded the following accolades since 2008: the Green Business Award for Biodiversity Protection, Visit Britain 5 Star Rating, Hospitality Assured, Biodiversity Benchmark - Land Management, Carbon Trust Standard, Good Spa Guide Award, ISO14001, Investors in People
  7. Center Parcs has recently been announced ‘Best Family Holiday Provider’ in the Tommy’s Awards for the eleventh year in a row