SEAI public sector energy-saving programme

Embedded thumbnail for SEAI public sector energy-saving programme

Supporting action to drive best-in-class public energy use

This programme promotes energy management and best practices to over 325 public bodies and 3 700 schools in Ireland. It has been instrumental in helping public bodies work towards the Irish government’s ambitious 33 % energy efficiency target for the public sector for 2020, achieving 17 % to date and accumulated savings of over EUR 424m.

SAEI’s programme has four main pillars; partnership, networking, project support and a bespoke online reporting system.

  1. The Energy Partnership Agreements initiative engages the top level of public sector organisations to secure their commitment to strategic energy management – its 75 partners represent over 75 % of public sector energy consumption. The initiative has two energy management options:
    • The Energy Management Action Programme (Energy MAP). This is an online resource, supported by bespoke training. Over 450 people from 80 organisations have received this training, resulting in average savings of 5-10 % from this alone.
    • The ISO5001 support programme. This is a tailored programme developed by SEAI in response to the drive to complete energy audits under the Energy Efficiency Directive. It is delivered over 9 months in 10 classes, with mentoring in between, and currently has 28 public bodies taking part.
  2. Networking supports the best practice services. These services have delivered over 600 energy assessments and given specialist advice to public bodies on integrating the principles of energy-efficient design into energy-intensive capital projects. An online forum, ‘Energy Link’, facilitates active sharing and exchange of information, knowledge and real-life experience on energy management between 1 100 members. In addition, communities of practice (COP) have been established in priority areas, covering public lighting, transport, buildings, energy awareness and leisure centres.
  3. Project support includes a ‘Triple E’ products register of best-in-class energy efficient products – which are mandatory for procurement for public bodies – and the National Energy Services Framework, developed by SEAI. Key components of the Framework include:
    • The EC Handbook, which details a Project Development Process from concept through to completion for all types of contracting, from an Energy Performance Related Payment through to Energy Performance Contracting. The handbook contains templates, tools and model forms of contracts and procurement templates approved for use by public bodies.
    • SEAI-administered technical assistance funding for energy saving projects. Currently, 10 exemplar projects are testing the framework.
  4. The online monitoring and reporting (M&R) system is an online reporting portal for over 325 public bodies and 4 000 schools, tracking progress toward the 33 % energy efficiency target. In 2015, over 87 % of public bodies reported and 25 % of schools (this was the first year that schools reported). Users input electricity and gas meter numbers and SEAI receives the annual usage figures from the meter operators. The public body only needs to report annual consumption for non-network connected energy use i.e. oil, transport fuel etc. The M&R system includes a comprehensive set of supports, including a dedicated helpdesk, access to expert advisors and annual training across the country.

With the help of these measures, Ireland’s public sector saved 1 840 GWh of energy in 2014 (consuming 9 106 GWh), which represented EUR 121m of savings or 418 kt of CO2.