Applications for 2019 are now open but what do last year’s winners make of their achievement
Paul Moloney, who is the Energy Manger at Lidl Ireland was delighted when his company took home the award for Large Business Energy Project last year
“We have been working really hard over the last 18 months, to get the recognition from SEAI is a huge achievement...We are working hard to improve our own energy efficiency, but we have also branched out into the communities in which we operate…The big challenge is ahead and collaboration between business and communities is what we need to work towards”, says Paul.
Community involvement in sustainable energy projects is another important category for the SEAI Awards to recognise. Last year, The Aran Islands Energy Cooperative took home an award for Best Community. Over half of the houses and buildings on the three islands have completed energy upgrades since 2012. There are also 10 electric vehicles on Inis Mór.
Fiona Belton who is a member of the community group said, “This means a lot for us – it means that we are recognised. Out there on the islands, it’s a shared endeavour…and it moves us forward and gives us strength”.
Last year, Gurteen College in County Tipperary fought off stiff competition to win Energy Team of the Year.
Mike Pearson, the Principal there said, “It’s a fantastic thing for Gurteen College, we are a small college in rural Tipperary and to come to an award ceremony like this and to come away with Energy Team of the Year is fantastic”.
In terms of larger projects, Eirgrid who operate the transmission grid across the island of Ireland took home the best Renewable Energy Project. “It’s just a fantastic recognition on years of work in achieving 65% renewables at any given moment on the island of Ireland. It is not something that is done anywhere else in the world and we are very happy to be here”, said John Lowry, Project Director.
The Rediscovery Centre is the national centre for the circular economy with enterprises using waste and unwanted materials as a resource and raw material for new product design. Last year they won the Buildings Category at the SEAI awards ceremony. Grainne Lambert from the centre describes winning as “solidifying all the hard work” they have done in the past.
When it comes to the Public Sector, there is huge pressure on them to achieve national targets. However, last year’s winners, Sligo University Hospital are taking it in their stride. “We are delighted to take the award back. It just shows what staff awareness and staff engagement can do in making savings in a public sector building”, acknowledges Declan McGoldrick, Project Manager at the hospital.
Entering the Energy Awards
Wyeth Nutrition won the Large Business Energy Management category last year. Paul Van Rooij, managing director, believes that awards are not all about the glory.
“Winning always feels good but I think in this particular case it’s not just about winning for my company, it is about winning for everyone who cares about energy and anybody who cares about a sustainable life”.
If your business or community would like to enter the SEAI Energy Awards - take a look at our guidelines and see which category suits you.
The standard of entries for the 2018 SEAI Sustainable Energy Awards was exceptionally high. In 2019 we are expecting a similar level of nominees as energy efficiency becomes the main agenda for many businesses and communities across the country.