The Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairí Quinn T.D., has urged schools to complete contracts aimed at significantly reducing their energy costs as soon as possible.
Some 1,700 schools across the country have been included in this new drive to cut electricity costs by between 10-15% per school. The savings that can be made are estimated to be in the region of €1 million overall.
Schools who are involved in the centralised electricity procurement competition are eligible for the savings. This initiative is being run by the Office of Government Procurement (OGP) in cooperation with the Department of Education and Skills and school management bodies.
In order for schools to make the savings they need to return their completed contracts as soon as possible. So far around 1,000 schools have completed and returned their contracts.
Speaking at one of the schools in line to make these savings, Inchicore National School, Sarsfield Road, Inchicore, Dublin 8, Minister Quinn urged schools who have not already done so to print, complete, sign and return their contracts to the OGP as soon as possible.
“This is a great opportunity for schools to make a significant saving on their electricity costs,” he said.
“Because of our economic situation, we have unfortunately had to ask all schools to do more with less – but through a very simple process of filling in and returning a form, schools will make large savings on energy costs and can use this money in other areas.”
The OGP recently sought tenders from electricity suppliers for the supply of electricity for over 1,700 schools. The rates that have now been secured through this tender process will reduce the cost of electricity to these schools substantially.
While overall savings are estimated at €1 million, some schools may be able to achieve higher savings particularly if they can change the loading on their electricity connection; this will be picked up during the analysis of schools electricity consumption data.
Schools that are not included in the current competition, and would like to be, can download a one page template that they need to complete or can contact their school management body for further details.
This new initiative is in addition to the Energy in Education initiative developed to help schools manage energy costs which was first launched in October 2012.
Developed by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI), in collaboration with the DES, the web-based initiative provides a vital service to help schools make energy savings requiring little or no capital expenditure. The tool helps to reduce the environmental impact of the school while also teaching students about good energy using behaviour.
To date SEAI has worked with more than 260 schools. Schools that have availed of the Assessment, Mentoring and Advice service have achieved an average 4-5% energy saving within three months, with an additional 6% further savings projected. Some schools achieved as much as 18% energy savings.
More information can be found at www.energyineducation.ie
The Minister concluded, “I welcome this interagency cooperation which is achieving significant savings for schools all over the country. This is a very practical example of how the Government’s Public Service Reform Plan is delivering real benefits to school communities.”