17/08/13 -- As public bodies look to cut expenditure to balance their budgets prominent architect and environmentalist, Duncan Stewart, today told the Irish Times why improved efficiencies from an energy management system can offer a painless alternative to cuts from wages and budgets.
Ireland spends somewhere in the region of €600 Million per annum on energy costs across the public sector. All branches of the public service have been told to reduce their capitation funding, which funds energy costs, by 3.5%.
Schools have been targeted specifically by the need for an energy management system in place to help them control their costs. Late October 2012 the SEAI and Minister Ruairi Quinn launched a website which has so far helped 250 schools to save almost €800,000. This figure, while not to be sniffed at, pales into significance when you realise that there are over 4000 schools in Ireland. With a total of €120 Million spent on energy costs across all schools its easy to see why energy experts are now starting to realise that easier savings to the bottom line can be made.
Energy Management Systems and monitoring
These savings come from basic energy management system improvements such as turning off heating at weekends, monitoring boilers, closing doors and powering whiteboards only when they’re in use. These buildings clearly benefit from the introduction of an energy management system, individual schools have saved 20 to 50 per cent of their energy use by just these small changes. These savings do not necessitate investment to achieve them, schools can be large energy users when inefficiently run but they do not have the large, heavy-duty energy system demands of industrial users therefore do not merit the investment in complex monitoring equipment that some industries do.
Health however is one such industry that would and does benefit from investment in monitoring its main energy users. Large industrial facilities including kitchens and catering can see dramatic energy savings thanks to an ISO 50001 energy management system. A further €85 million is being spent on energy costs in our hospitals and despite 5 years of austerity budgets no strategy from the Department of Health has decided to look into ways of reducing the energy spending.
One particular model preaches that in year 1 the facility introduces the simple solutions, turning off lights, reducing heating, unplugging devices not in use and that the money saved from year 1's energy budget is used to introduce the more complex energy management systems and monitoring required to implement the substantial savings in year 2 and beyond. This model has yielded savings in the region of 25% to 50% of total energy usage.
Energy costs are rising for all industries, Irish public sector energy use rose 32 per cent in 1990-2007. Where no attention is paid and no action is taken, in any organisation, energy use will continue to rise.
If you are interested in how your business can make substantial savings thanks to an Energy Management system then you can get training on how to implement an Energy Management System in your organisation or even on how to become an Energy Management Systems auditor then contact us today.