Dublin City Council to cut electric bill by €21,000 a year with solar panels

11 Feb 2015

Dublin City Council's Civic Offices. Image via Wikimedia Commons

Dublin City Council’s (DCC) Civic Offices and four public libraries will soon be powered by solar electricity, with the aim of reducing their bills by as much as €21,000 per year.

As part of IBM’s Smarter Cities project, the company had advised DCC to bring greater usage of clean energies within the city, while also making it one of the world’s first internet of things cities.

The DCC’s plans are to not just power its central office with natural light-powered solar panels, but also the four public libraries in Raheny, Ballymun, Cabra and Coolock, which is now open to a tendering process for solar panel producers.

The expected installation of the solar panels is expected to cost about €250,000, which means it will be another 13 years before they begin to actually save money for the council.

However, DCC has confirmed the project is partly funded by the EU ACE INTERREG IVB project, which aims to promote the benefits of renewable energy in communities.

Solar panels on the roof of DCC’s Civic Offices. Image via DCC

This latest report issued online by an IBM team concluded that aside from the five buildings already selected to get its solar-photovoltaic panels, IBM has suggested to DCC that it should assess all 430-plus government buildings for a potential switch to solar energy.

The report also suggested DCC should push for a solar renewable energy feed-in tariff (REFIT) that would allow small-scale solar-energy generators to be distributed to the wider electric network while giving the producer a small kick back.

DCC is in a race to meet its target set back in 2010 to have a reduction in energy consumption from its current 220GWh of energy use by as much as 33pc by 2020.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic