This is the second national conference focussed specifically on driving the public sector towards the Government’s energy efficiency target of 33% by 2020. The most recent annual report on the energy efficiency performance of public bodies published by SEAI last year showed that the public sector saved €133 million through improved energy efficiency in 2016 and is now 20% more energy efficient.
Attendees at the conference learned about best practice in energy efficiency action including progressing project pipelines, advanced building and facility upgrades, energy awareness and behaviour change, and structured energy management, all of which can deliver energy and cost savings to the sector. 22 public bodies are already certified to the international standard on energy management, ISO 50001, and are excelling in energy efficiency. These include:
• Dublin Airport Authority which has made 44% energy savings by embedding efficiency in procurement and design stages;
• Cork Institute of Technology has made 37% energy efficiency savings through lighting and pump upgrades and three combined heat and power installations;
• Galway County Council is making significant savings in key buildings like the City Fire Station and County Hall following upgrades saving over €6,000 per annum;
• Dublin Port has made 18% energy efficiency savings following upgrades to lighting, solar PV and metering;
• Waterford IT has secured ISO50001 certification for its five campuses and installed 40kW of solar PV on site.
The public sector spent €536 million on energy in 2016 and accounts for 6% of Ireland’s overall primary energy use. The Government is committed to achieving the 33% target as detailed in the National Energy Efficiency Action Plan and the Public Sector Energy Strategy.