€7.5m injection for Better Energy Workplaces Scheme

14 Mar 2012

(From left) Danny Dunne, CEO of the Royal Victoria Eye and Ear Hospital; Energy Minister Pat Rabbitte, TD; and Brian Motherway, chief operations officer, SEAI. Energy upgrades carried out at the hospital last year have resulted in 25pc energy savings

Energy Minister Pat Rabbitte, TD, has announced details of a €7.5m capital fund to support sustainable energy investments in 2012 in the public, commercial, industrial and community sectors in Ireland.

He said the fund will make €7.5m available for projects that support energy performance contracting, which is a key part of Ireland’s national energy efficiency plan.

According to Rabbitte, public-sector projects will be especially encouraged in order to help Ireland meet its 33pc public-sector energy-efficiency improvement targets by 2020.

The scheme is now open and applications for funding will be evaluated on a competitive bid basis. Successful applicants will be notified in June. The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) will manage the grant applications.

Speaking today, Rabbitte said the 2012 fund would build on the success of previous schemes.

“This fund will ramp up the competitiveness of Irish business by delivering real savings in an affordable way for both public and private enterprise. This is a timely example of organisations in Ireland working towards best practice in energy efficiency to deliver real benefits in all sectors of our economy,” he said.

In 2011, the Better Energy Workplaces programme directed €11m to co-finance 85 projects in the public, commercial, industrial and community sectors.

Entities that availed of the scheme to increase energy efficiencies included the Royal Victoria Eye and Ear Hospital, Aer Lingus and Green Isle Foods.

The latter carried out energy retrofit projects at its Green Isle Naas, Longford, Gurteen and Portumna sites. Green Isle carried out upgrades to boilers, refrigeration units and heat recovery equipment. It also installed variable speed drives on air compressors.

The project cost €1,200,000 and has resulted in 6pc site energy savings, said SEAI. Payback for the energy efficiency project is expected in less than three years.

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic