Majella Kelleher, Head of Energy Demand Management, confirms that SEAI's Public Sector Energy Partnership programme is shortlisted for the EU Sustainable Energy Awards.
This week at the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland, we were delighted to hear the news that our Public Sector Energy Partnership programme has been shortlisted for this year's prestigious EU Sustainable Energy Awards. The programme is one of only nine shortlisted from over 200 nominations Europe-wide, so already we are in esteemed company. My colleague and I will attend a gala event in Brussels on June 14th to find out if we take the winning spot. Fingers crossed.
Now I know it could sound a little arrogant to say that I wasn't at all that surprised by the decision of the judges to include the programme in the final flight - quite the contrary; we are all genuinely humbled by the recognition of our international peers. However I have also felt for a very long time now that the sterling efforts of our colleagues and partners across the public sector really deserved some public acclaim, rather than the criticism that is sometimes levelled at it.
The numbers speak for themselves; the 75 programme partners make up three quarters of all public sector energy consumption. These organisations have committed serious resources to having key personnel trained in our EnergyMAP online resource which will typically help them achieve savings of 5-10%. However 28 of the more advanced participants are building towards certification of their energy management practices to ISO50001. This is the business end of energy management. It requires serious time commitment by the personnel involved and often requires investment of precious budgets as well.
But the prize is well worth it. In a nutshell, Ireland gets significantly reduced energy expenditure meaning potentially more money for public services all the time contributing to the transition to a low carbon economy. Remember the only way forward for any of us at this stage is out of fossil fuels.
On June 14th SEAI hopes to hold aloft the EU Sustainable Energy Award on behalf of all our public sector partner organisations who have already reaped substantial rewards for their efforts.
A high-level jury decides the winner in each of the three categories - Businesses, Public Sector, Consumers.
You can also have your say by casting your vote for the 2016 Citizens' Award! Click here to VOTE
Majella Kelleher is Head of Energy Demand Management with SEAI with responsibility for programmes in business and the public sector. Majella is a graduate of University College Cork with a civil engineering degree and of Trinity College Dublin with an MBA, and more recently an MSc in Management (OB). Since joining SEAI she has filled a number of roles most recently as Head of Sustainable Energy Deployment where she had responsibility for a range of deployment schemes in the domestic sector. Prior to this she worked as a business consultant both in Ireland and abroad.