Tuesday, 30 November 2010
Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources
Question 29: To ask the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources the progress on his commitment to increase public sector energy efficiency by 33%; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44829/10]
The National Energy Efficiency Action Plan (NEEAP) sets out 90 actions which are already underway, or will be taken in the period to 2020, to achieve the national energy efficiency target. The Government has set a target of 20% across the economy and 33% in the public sector. The savings identified in the Action Plan represent approximately €1.6 billion in avoided energy costs for the economy in 2020.
My Department and the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) are setting up a comprehensive monitoring and reporting system whereby all energy usage in the Public Sector will be accounted for and progress will be systematically recorded. This system will be fully in place next year, which will enable tracking of progress on an annual basis.
In the public sector, the most significant cost-cutting and energy saving potential lies in improving the energy performance of new and existing buildings and facilities. This will be a key focus of the new National Retrofit Programme, which will seek to raise financing from institutional investors for retrofit work in the public sector. The Public Sector Programme of SEAI is the main delivery mechanism for energy efficiency actions by public sector bodies. This comprehensive programme includes a Public Sector support programme, which provides assessments and training to all public sector bodies and a grant programme to support energy efficiency measures.
In September I announced financial support for 20 projects under the public sector and industry Energy Efficiency fund, which are all scheduled to conclude this year. These projects are anticipated to deliver €4.5 million savings over the lifetime of the measures. They will serve as exemplar projects for the public sector and for business.
In addition, the SEAI is working closely with an increasing number of public sector bodies including An Garda Síochána and the HSE to accelerate development of their energy efficiency strategies. Public Sector bodies are also actively working with SEAI to deliver energy savings in water services, public lighting and Information and Communications Technology (ICT). Participants have made savings of up to 20%, and have identified future saving opportunities of up to 40-50%. The work already under way has highlighted the very significant energy savings achievable across the public sector with commensurate reduction in energy costs for all public bodies.