Mr. Pat Rabbitte T.D. (Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources) and Mr. Brian Hayes T.D. (Minister of State with special responsibility for the Office of Public Works) today (3rd February) announced the provision of €9 million in Government funding over the next three years, for the expansion of the OPW’s Optimising Power @ Work staff energy awareness campaign into the wider public service.
The existing programme has been running since 2008 and involves staff in over 270 buildings in the Central Government portfolio. Average energy savings of over 18% have been achieved and this equates to approximately €4.3m per annum in cost savings. The new programme will initially target 500 large buildings from various Public Sector organisations. Tallaght Hospital was chosen as the venue for the launch today, as the hospital is one of the first public sector organisations to sign up to participate in the new public sector campaign.
Speaking at the event, Minister Rabbitte said, “The next phase of the Optimising Power @ Work campaign will be important in advancing the significant inroads the programme has already made in reducing the energy consumption of our public buildings. I look forward to OPW working in partnership with other public sector agencies that have a responsibility for energy reduction to deliver programmes that achieve sustainable energy savings over the long term. By implementing these supports in an integrated manner we will embed good energy management practices thereby helping us to meet our ambitious 2020 energy targets.”
Minister Hayes said, “The initial phase of Optimising Power @ Work in central Government buildings has demonstrated that there is huge potential in saving energy by closely monitoring energy consumption, eliminating waste, staff participation and generally increasing awareness. The next phase of the project will engage with organisations from the wider public sector. The early movers in the public sector campaign are Tallaght Hospital, University Hospital Galway, 3 large HSE administration blocks, the Irish Prison Service, the EPA and some local authorities. As other public sector organisations come on board, the full potential of the energy efficiency savings will be unlocked.”
Tallaght Hospital’s CEO David Slevin stated “I am pleased that Tallaght Hospital is an early mover in respect of such an important energy efficiency project in the Public Sector. We are proud of our capacity to innovate here in Tallaght Hospital and with this project we aim to realise up to 18% savings in our annual energy costs of approximately €3 million. I want to thank Minister Rabbitte and Minister of State Hayes for their support and l look forward to working with our staff and the OPW to maximise our savings.”
The success of Optimising Power @ Work relies on three key fundamentals: Technology, Staff Engagement & Specialist Resources:
Technology involves installing dedicated energy monitoring equipment in each participating building, providing up to date reliable energy data so that performance can be measured against targets;
Engagement with staff includes setting up energy teams in each building and working with staff through presentations and workshops as well as energy awareness days and awards that recognise achievements in the areas of energy reduction, creativity and sustained engagement;
Specialist resources means assigning experienced energy advisors to work closely with the energy teams in each building, develop customised energy reports and identify specific areas where energy can be saved.