Award sees Council reach its:
- 2020 energy management requirements ahead of schedule
- 4% ahead of energy efficiency set target of 33%
- Significant cost savings of €637,807 achieved since 2012
- Energy savings of 4 million kilowatt hours (KWh) since 2012.
Cork County Council this week became the first Local Authority in Ireland to be fully accredited to ISO50001, the international standard for energy management, and in achieving this accreditation has now reached its legislative requirements under the EU Energy Efficiency Regulations 2014 ahead of schedule. These Regulations oblige all Public Sector bodies falling within certain specified criteria to carry out comprehensive organization wide energy audits or become ISO 50001 compliant by June 2016.
In receiving this award Cork County Council is the first and only local authority in the country to achieve this highly significant recognition and accreditation for its whole of service energy management system which has considerable positive implications for energy saving and carbon emissions long-term.
Tim Lucey, Chief Executive of Cork County Council, on announcing the accreditation and acknowledging his colleagues achievements said: ‘Streamlining our services and minimising our carbon footprint is top of mind for all of us as we face into the future, therefore this ISO 50001 accreditation is a significant achievement for any local authority given the diversity of services they are required to offer, not least for County Cork, Ireland’s largest county.’
‘This accreditation, delivered ahead of time, has been achieved primarily through the focused efforts of the Energy Management Action Plan (E-Map) Team, a multi-disciplinary group led by the Environment Directorate within the County Council. This team, which was set up in 2012, has exceeded every national target set, has overseen more than 100 individual actions county-wide, all of which positively contributed to the organisation reaching its 2020 energy efficiency targets as set out under Ireland’s 3rd National Energy Efficiency Action Plan 2014-2017. In achieving ISO50001 accreditation far in advance of the target date they have demonstrated what can be achieved through teamwork, focus and dedication to a goal. As Chief Executive I am very proud of their achievements’.
The initiative was set up with the assistance of Sustainable Energy Authority Ireland (SEAI) with the primary objective to develop, implement and monitor individual energy actions which will positively contribute to Cork County Council reducing its energy consumption, thereby reducing its carbon emissions.
Ireland’s National Energy Efficiency Action Plan sets the public sector a target of a 33% improvement in Energy Efficiency each year to 2020 from a 2009 baseline. At present Cork County Council is 4% ahead of this target having saved 4 million kilowatt hours (KWh) of energy to-date, the equivalent to the annual energy usage of c.330 semi-detached homes in Ireland.
The Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr. John Paul O’Shea mentioned how delighted he was to again witness first hand Cork County Council’s commitment to innovation. ‘This year as Mayor I have had the honour of cutting the tape at many important openings and I have received international guests from China, the US and across Europe as we continually strive to ensure that our County is at the forefront of economic growth and is recognised internationally as a prime location in which to do business and also to visit as a tourist. I feel blessed to have overseen a great year for Cork County and it should be pointed out that it is the efforts behind the scenes such as this one from our Energy MAP Team in achieving ISO50001, that make our overall offering a much more attractive one. In achieving this International accreditation our County is again leading the way for local authorities across the country and I commend all involved for the great work done to date’.
Energy Management Action Plan (E-Map) Team:
Since setting up Ireland’s first Energy Agency in 1995, Cork County Council has always been at the forefront of innovation in this area and has continually worked on improving energy efficiency across the organization.
The ISO5001 Accreditation is overseen by the members of The Energy Management Action Plan (E-Map) Team, a multi-disciplinary group led by the Environment Directorate within the County Council.
Where are the savings to date?
Over 80% of Cork County Council’s energy use can be attributed to 4 main areas:
- public lighting (43%),
- fleet (24%),
- County Hall Campus (8%) and leisure centres (7%).
- The remaining 18% is expended at the Council’s 130 Public Buildings (area offices, libraries, fire stations, environmental laboratories etc.)
With some 40,000 individual lighting points the energy associated with public lighting is the single largest energy consumer within Cork County Council’s total energy usage and costs in the region of €3m per annum. This is 10% of the total national lighting stock. In recent years Cork County Council has successfully reduced its’ energy use by 4% and are continuing to lead the way in public lighting innovation. In January 2016 Cork County Council became the first local authority in Ireland to make it a planning requirement that all new public lighting schemes must be LED, including housing developments and upgrades. All of Cork’s Islands have been upgraded to LED, reducing energy usage and costs associated with operation and maintenance. The Council’s Lighting Minimisation Project at Mallow and Kanturk Civic Amenity Sites has seen a 27% saving and this will be extended to the other 9 civic amenity sites during the coming year.
County Hall Campus:
The main County Hall Campus through a series of actions has reduced its energy usage by 34% since the 2009 baseline and was a category winner in last year’s Excellence in Local Government Awards. County Hall will exceed 1,000,000 kWh savings this year.
In the past 12 months the Council’s 530 strong vehicle fleet have reduced energy usage by 330,000kWh of fuel following the implementation of a new dedicated Fleet Energy Working Group.
Through a series of measures Mallow Swimming Pool has reduced electricity usage by 26% since 2009. It is expected that a Combined Heat and Power (CHP) project in the second half of 2016 will tackle high fossil fuel usage, making Mallow pool an exemplar in the sector.
Additionally insulation and heating upgrades in Passage, Midleton, Charleville and Schull Libraries have led to over 30% savings in these buildings.
The International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) is a worldwide federation of national standards bodies, enabling organisations to establish systems and processes to help improve performance.
ISO 50001 is an International Energy Management Standard(EMS) for energy use and consumption,which specifies requirements for measurement, documentation and reporting, design and procurement practices for equipment, systems, processes and personnel that contribute to energy performance. This International Standard does not prescribe specific performance criteria for energy use.
Benefits to Business
Cost savings of 10-20%
Enhanced customer satisfaction and improved quality
Reduced negative impact on environment
Avoid trade barriers with international Satandard and open access to new global markets
Improves energy and business performance
The main criteria for ISO 50001
A cross divisional management team
Policies and Procedure in place
Identification of key performance indicators
For more information visit www.seai.ie