SEAI Honour Leaders in Ireland's Clean Energy Transition at the Annual Energy Awards

  • NUI Galway takes home top prize at SEAI Energy Awards
  • SEAI present inaugural Outstanding Contribution to Sustainable Energy award
  • 16-year-old Clondalkin student receives Emerging Sustainability Champion award
  • Entrants deliver combined energy savings of €38 million

16 October 2019: Funded by the Government of Ireland, the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) today announced the winners of its 2019 Energy Awards at a gala event which saw National University of Ireland Galway (NUIG) take away the top prize for Energy Team of the Year.

NUIG has set its sights on the campus being one of the greenest universities in the world. They impressed judges with their inclusive and long-term approach to energy management. As part of its strategy, it created a Green Campus Charter, encouraging and providing tools to students and staff on how they can reduce energy use on campus and in their homes. Already at 36% energy reduction, NUIG continue to work towards their ambitious target of a 40% energy reduction by 2020.

A total of nine awards were presented to businesses, communities and public sector organisations recognising their commitment and dedication to excellence in energy management and creating a cleaner energy future.

How we respond to the challenge of climate disruption will define us as a generation. These awards are a good opportunity to highlight those taking leadership and managing their energy use in a more sustainable way. Those being recognised here today are beacons to their communities, showcasing how we can all step up and change our behaviour.  Making these changes not only means less carbon in the atmosphere, but also means healthier lives and more comfortable living.
Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Richard Bruton T.D.

Julie O’Neill, Chair of SEAI, said:

“The SEAI Energy Awards celebrate the absolute best of Ireland’s sustainable energy achievements. They are a vivid demonstration of how Irish business, communities and public organisations are pushing the boundaries in energy efficiency and the switch to clean energy. The 134 plus entrants in this year’s Awards have made energy savings of €38 million. The continued efforts and outstanding ambition of this year’s finalists is to be commended.”

This year, for the first time, awards were presented for Emerging Sustainability Champion and Outstanding Contribution to Sustainable Energy.

Marie Donnelly received an award for Outstanding Contribution to Sustainable Energy. Throughout her thirty year career in the European Commission, Marie has been a leading advocate of policies and strategies to accelerate our energy transition. She formulated key elements of the ‘Clean Energy for All Europeans’ package, designed to put energy efficiency first, achieve global leadership in renewable energies, and provide a fair deal for consumers.

Victory Luke received the Emerging Sustainability Champion award. Victory’s school had benefited from an SEAI community energy grant and that acted as the impetus for her to take up the climate action mantle. In June of this year, Victory addressed the International Energy Agency’s 4th Annual Global Conference on Energy Efficiency which was held in Dublin. She spoke openly of her concerns for the future, her own willingness to take action and her determination to encourage others to do the same.

Other winners of the Awards include; Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council (Public Sector); Flahavan's, Waterford (SME); Astellas Ireland, Kerry (Buildings); Kilanerin-Ballyfad Community Development Association, Wexford (Sustainable Energy Community); Ashleigh Environmental Limited, Waterford (Research and Innovation); and Tipperary Cooperative Creamery Ltd. (Large Business).

For further information or to arrange an interview with any of the award winners, please contact:
Aine Roddy, Carr Communications, aine@carrcommunications.ie / 087 777 3688

Notes to Editor

About SEAI

SEAI is Ireland’s national energy authority investing in, and delivering, appropriate, effective and sustainable solutions to help Ireland’s transition to a clean energy future. We work with Government, homeowners, businesses and communities to achieve this, through expertise, funding, educational programmes, policy advice, research and the development of new technologies. SEAI is funded by the Government of Ireland through the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment.

About the SEAI Sustainable Energy Awards

This is the 16th year for SEAI’s annual Energy Awards which promote excellence in energy efficiency and renewable energy throughout the island of Ireland.   

2019 SEAI Sustainable Energy Award Winners

Public Sector - Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council
Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council (DLR) serves a population of 206,000 people and the Energy Team’s objective is to meet energy and climate change targets and to positively influence energy efficiency within the constituency. DLR was the first local authority in Dublin to achieve full compliance with ISO 50001 certification and achieving carbon neutrality is central to the County Development Plan. Exemplar housing upgrades include the retrofit of social housing to EnerPHit standard and new housing and other buildings built to nZEB and Passive House standards.

Research and Innovation - Ashleigh Environmental
Ashleigh Environmental is a CleanTech company focused on developing innovative environmental and bioenergy solutions for the agriculture industry. Ashleigh Environmental is currently developing

advanced hydrolysis technology for the global bioenergy market. Extensive research enabled them to design an innovative system called Biowave, which significantly increases biogas production from pig manure. Biowave is a more simplified and more sustainable waste management system. The technology has been demonstrated at an industrial pilot scale for the agri biogas market and the company is now developing exciting applications across the broader bioenergy market.

Buildings - Astellas Ireland (AICL) Kerry Plant
Astellas Ireland (AICL) Kerry Plant is a pharmaceutical company, manufacturing a range of treatments, including the immunosuppressant Prograf® which is supplied to 114 countries globally from Killorglin. The ARK (Astellas Renewal Kerry) building project included Energy Efficient

Design principles and international design standard LEED. The project focused on building fabric with low U-values for windows, floors and walls between 30-50% below the regulation where feasible. The building includes innovative energy technologies and also includes PV panels on the roof and a solar thermal array. A full independent integrated energy model of the building was completed, showing energy cost savings of over 38% per annum and 950 tonnes of CO2.

Sustainable Energy Community - Kilanerin-Ballyfad Community Development Association SEC
Kilanerin-Ballyfad Community Development Association (KBCDA) – Sustainable Energy Community (SEC) project aims to identify energy reduction opportunities within the community, across residential and non-residential sectors, specifically in relation to; electricity, heating, and transport, as well as looking at measures for the community’s potential to reduce its reliance on fossil fuels.

KBCDA-SEC understand the urgency on the matter of sustainability in communities and know that each step made has a positive impact and that they are leading by example.

Large Business - Tipperary Co-Operative Creamery
Tipperary Co-Operative Creamery has been operating in one of Europe’s most traditional milk production areas since 1908 and has the capacity to process one million litres of milk per day. The milk is processed into cheese, butter, milk powders and other dairy products and each year it manufactures 35,000 tonnes of these products. The farmer/shareholder owned co-operative understands the impact that the business has on the environment and has introduced an energy efficient management system to reduce their carbon footprint. The Tipperary creamery consistently engages with the community to create an enhanced awareness at farm and school level, highlighting the importance of improved energy management from a business and social perspective. The energy management system has resulted in energy savings of over 10% in the first year of the program, since its implementation in 2018.

SME - Flahavan’s
Flahavan’s, Ireland’s oldest family-owned business has been milling oats for over 230 years, across seven generations at the family mill in Co. Waterford. The oats for the company’s Progress Oatlets are sourced from local farmers within a 60-mile radius of the mill in Kilmacthomas. Flahavan’s has four methods of energy generation with biomass from by-product, wind, solar and hydro working in a complimentary manner. Flahavan’s has reduced the need for almost half a million litres of diesel per year as steam is produced from the burning of the oat husks. The company also has its own on-site wind and water turbines which generate electricity for the facility’s production. Flahavan’s has always prioritised sustainability and its organic division accounts for over 25% of its overall business.

Energy Team - National University of Ireland, Galway
National University of Ireland, Galway is on a journey to establish the campus as one of the greenest Universities in the world. As part of its sustainability strategy, it has created a Green Campus Charter, encouraging and providing tools to students and staff on how to reduce energy use on site and at home. The Galway team also gives ‘green’ recommendations on new technology being used on campus, to ensure alignment with their sustainability goals. The team strive to LIVE, LEARN and LEAD by example, and are charting all three of these in daily actions, which have helped to achieve a 36% energy saving. They aim to achieve an ambitious 40% improvement in energy efficiency by 2020.

Outstanding Contribution to Sustainable Energy - Marie Donnelly
Marie Donnelly has thirty years’ experience in the European Commission. Marie is a former Director for Renewables, Energy Efficiency and Innovation at the Directorate General for Energy of the European Commission. During her career she has been a leading advocate of policies and strategies to accelerate our energy transition. She formulated key elements of the ‘Clean Energy for All Europeans’ package, designed to put energy efficiency first, achieve global leadership in renewable energies, and provide a fair deal for consumers. She currently the Chairperson of Renewable Energy Ireland, a member of the Governance Committee of the Centre for Marine and Renewable Energy, and serves on the Steering Committee of the International Energy Research Centre (IERC).

Marie also sits on the Board of Directors for Tipperary Energy Agency and is a European Advisory Board Member of the Hawthorn Club, the only International Network for professional women in the energy industry.

Emerging Sustainability Champion - Victory Luke
Victory Luke is a 16-year-old student at Collinstown Park Community College, Clondalkin, in Dublin. Victory’s school has previously benefited from an SEAI community energy grant and that acted as the impetus from her to take up the climate action mantle. In June of this year, Victory addressed the International Energy Agency’s 4th Annual Global Conference on Energy Efficiency which was held in Dublin. She spoke openly of her concerns for the future, her own willingness to take action and her determination to encourage others to do the same. Following this Victory also published an opinion piece in the Irish Times asking for hope and action among decision makers and members of the public.