PUBLIC SECTOR SAVES €1.55 BILLION ON ENERGY SPEND
Public bodies have achieved €1.55 billion in energy savings and avoided 5.2 million tonnes of CO2 emissions between 2009 and 2019. The Annual Report on Public Sector Energy Efficiency Performance covering 2019 shows that the public sector was 29% more energy efficient and on course to achieve its 33% energy efficiency target in 2020. This is the third consecutive year of improved performance, following the introduction of the Public Sector Energy Efficiency Strategy in 2017.
The 348 public bodies and 2,569 schools who reported on their energy performance collectively improved their energy efficiency to 29%, up from 27% the previous year. This improvement achieved €287 million in annual energy savings for the sector and 788,000 tonnes of avoided CO2 emissions in 2019.
Announcing the publication of the report today, Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications. Eamon Ryan TD, said: “The Programme for Government sets out an ambitious vision for the public sector to achieve 50% energy efficiency improvement, at least 50% CO2 reduction and all public buildings to achieve a Building Energy Rating of B by 2030.
Today’s report gives us an important insight into the progress made by the public sector in demonstrating leadership by improving its energy efficiency, reducing costs and increasing its contribution to our national and EU energy and climate targets. We have seen excellent work from the public sector in getting to where we are now, but the next decade will require a renewed effort if we are to meet our targets and overcome the challenges presented by the climate crisis.”
William Walsh, CEO of SEAI said: “SEAI has worked hard with the public bodies and schools to help them achieve the improvements in energy efficiency we are reporting on today. The evident improvements show that the 33% energy efficiency target for the public sector is within grasp. Our focus now shifts to the next decade and achieving the ambitious but challenging targets for 2030.
The public sector is being asked again to show real leadership in the energy transition, the outcome of which will enhance our public services and the lives of all citizens. SEAI is available to support public bodies to achieve the changes necessary to meet this ambitious target. With our training and advice as well as significant capital grants towards large scale retrofit investments, we can help all public bodies scale up their energy saving ambitions.”
Denise Maguire Editor of Irish Construction Industry Magazine