€23 million worth of energy savings made by Sustainable Energy Awards finalists

Savings of €23 million were made by organisations entering this year’s Sustainable Energy Awards, with a further €13 million in savings projected over the coming years.  Hosted by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) and sponsored by ESB Electric Ireland, the eighth annual Awards, held in Dublin tonight, saw all business sectors recognised for their efforts in reducing energy use and CO2 emissions. 

The Sustainable Energy Awards reward excellence in energy management by organisations of all sizes and this year attracted 105 entries. The coveted ‘Energy Manager of the Year’ Award was won by Micheál Cassidy of Astellas Ireland, Killorglin, Co. Kerry. Micheál, appointed as Energy Manager in 2006, has led a team in implementing a strategic approach to energy management by the pharmaceutical company which has yielded almost 7 million kWh in energy savings in the past five years.

One very interesting project came from the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) who received a special award for its work in optimising plane routes to cut distances travelled by 2.2 million kilometres, saving 16 million litres of airline fuel per annum. The IAA’s strategy is now being implemented by other air authorities, including the Maastricht Air Traffic Control Centre which controls traffic over Germany, Holland and the Benelux countries.

Other notable winners included: Green Isle Foods (Co. Sligo), winner of the Energy Efficiency Award (Small / Medium User) for its heat recovery project and plant upgrades delivering 18% energy savings; GlaxoSmithKline (Cork), winner of the Integrated Energy Management Award (Major User) for its 90 day energy management plan which has delivered 20% energy savings; and Tralee Town Council, winner of the Energy Sustainability in the Built Environment Award for its Mitchel’s Boherbee community regeneration project which has cut residents’ energy bills by 37%. Cylon Active Energy won the Sustainable Energy Innovation Award for its pioneering energy bureau service based on a cloud computing platform. 

Congratulating the 2011 Award winners, Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources Mr Pat Rabbitte, T.D., said: “The economic results we are seeing from the organisations entering the awards are very encouraging.  These translate directly into more cost competitive businesses and more cost efficient public services. By implementing energy efficient standards and practices we have a seen an average of 13% energy savings across all organisations involved in this year’s Sustainable Energy Awards.  I congratulate all who took these steps to become more energy efficient and I urge other companies to get involved.”

Commenting on the Awards announcement, Professor J. Owen Lewis, Chief Executive, SEAI said: “Businesses around Ireland are really embracing sustainable energy and the results show that every change implemented has made a significant difference. Each year we see more companies entering with exciting projects that are saving energy and benefiting their bottom line. Apart from showing leadership in energy management, a number of this year’s entrants have delivered significant retrofitting projects to buildings and facilities. We are also seeing smart new business solutions using leading edge technologies, as well as new visions of sustainable energy communities emerging. These are very promising trends and we need to see this momentum continuing in the times immediately ahead.  I congratulate all the winners and finalists.”

Brid Horan, Executive Director, ESB Electric Ireland, said: “These awards prove that substantial energy cost savings are still achievable in Irish businesses through commitment and the use of energy management systems.”

Further information on the 2011 Sustainable Energy Awards can be found on SEAI’s website www.seai.ie/energyawards

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