Public sector achieves cumulative €250m energy savings

First annual report on public sector energy efficiency published

27th April, 2015 - The public sector achieved a 14% energy efficiency improvement in 2013, worth €74 million in savings to the Exchequer. That is according to the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) who today published the first Annual Report on Public Sector Energy Efficiency Performance. 238 public bodies with a total energy spend of €588 million, reported, representing 85% of the estimated energy consumption of the public sector.  The cumulative value of savings from 2009 – 2013 for these bodies is almost €250m.

The report compiled data between 2009 – 2013 on annual energy consumption and energy efficiency performance in 2013 against 2020 targets.  Bodies reporting included the HSE, An Garda Síochána, An Post, transport organisation, City and County Councils and the Defence Forces. Efficiencies have been achieved through implementation of projects ranging from structured energy management, building and facility upgrades, retrofits, changes in transportation, better energy procurement and through behavioural change within organisations.

Speaking at the launch, Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Alex White TD said  “Public bodies should be at the forefront of effective energy management in order to play their part in tackling climate change and to maximise savings, which can be redirected to much-needed public services.  While it’s encouraging to see the many strong performances in this report, I want to see every public body building upon the achievements that have so far been made across the public service.”

Dr Brian Motherway, CEO of SEAI added: “Continuous energy performance measurement is critical to achieve energy efficiency targets and drive cost savings in public bodies.  SEAI provides a comprehensive support programme to assist  public bodies pursuing the ambitious 33% energy efficiency target and wishing to significantly reduce their energy costs and I would encorage all to avail of it.”

One of the first reports of its kind internationally, it is set in the context of Ireland’s EU and national commitments and wider climate change goals, whereby a target of 33% energy efficiency improvement is to be achieved by Irish public bodies by 2020.


Notes for Editors

  • This is the first annual report  for which all public bodies were required to report.  The basis of obligation which Government has placed on public bodies is SI 426, the National Energy Efficiency Action Plan and the Action Plan for Jobs
  • Approximately 400 bodies were required to report in 2013. 
  • A total of 238 public bodies fully reported; with combined energy consumption of 8,495 GWh amounting to €588m energy spend.  This represents approximately 85% of estimated public sector energy consumption.
  • Ten public bodies account for 46% of public sector energy use (these include: An Garda Síochána, An Post, Bus Éireann, Cork County Council, Defence Forces, Dublin Airport Authority, Dublin Bus, Dublin City Council, HSE and Irish Rail).
  • Fifty public bodies account for over 80% public sector energy consumption
  • Progress to date over business as usual shows a 14% improvement on baseline against the 2020 target of 33%
  • The value of energy savings reported for 2013 is €74m, 1,343 GWh primary energy savings.  The value of cumulative savings from 2009 – 2013 for these bodies is almost €250m
  • The full report is available at Annual Report 2014 on Public Sector Energy Efficiency Performance .pdf (size 2.4 MB)
  • SEAI facilitate reporting through an online system, supported by a helpdesk and extensive training.  Already 180 bodies attended training countrywide to help participation in the current cycle.
  • For the period covered by this report, schools were not required to report.  However eleven participated on a voluntary pilot basis to inform the current reporting cycle where all schools (up to 4,000) are required to report.  

About SEAI

The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) has a mission to play a leading role in transforming Ireland into a society based on sustainable energy structures, technologies and practices. SEAI is financed by Ireland’s EU Structural Funds Programme co-funded by the Irish Government and the European Union.

Click here to download a copy of this press release in PDF format.