Water Restrictions Reintroduced In West Limerick

Co. Limerick, Ireland — 20 Jan. 2012 — The Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government, Mr. Phil Hogan, T.D., today (Friday, 20 January 2012) congratulated Limerick County Council on reducing its energy consumption by 45%.

 

The local authority today confirmed it also has produced 340 less tonnes of CO2 and made savings of in excess of €90,000 in the two and a half years since implementing numerous energy efficient measures at its headquarters building in Dooradoyle. The savings are so considerable that the original architects have returned to Limerick County Hall to carry out a case study on the improvements and performance of the building.

The announcement of considerable savings coincided with the launch today by Minister Hogan of Limerick County Council’s ‘Energy Management Code of Practice’.

The strategy document includes a series of short, medium and long term action plans aimed at effectively managing energy consumption and promoting energy efficient practices within the Local Government system in County Limerick. The Code also provides for ongoing staff training in relation to best practice in the area of energy efficiency.

Speaking in Limerick today, Minister Hogan said: “I would like to congratulate Limerick County Council on securing considerable savings through its energy efficiency programme. When Limerick County Council embarked on the design and construction of its new corporate buildings, one of the key issues was sustainability. The benefits, both economic and environmental, of adopting such an approach are clearly evident today.”

Commenting on the launch of the ‘Energy Management Code of Practice’, the Minister stated: “Environmental policies are constantly changing and I am delighted to see that Limerick County Council is adapting to such changes by utilising renewable technologies and exploring how they can be used in an appropriate way. This Code of Practice fits in with the overall energy strategy of Limerick County Council and indeed, the Government’s National Climate Change Strategy 2007-12.”

Welcoming Minister Hogan to County Hall, Cathaoirleach of Limerick County Council Councillor Marty Harty said: “The Minister’s visit is a vindication of Limerick County Council’s efforts over the last three years to further improve the energy performance of its headquarters building, while at the same time delivering significant reductions in carbon emissions. The success of the model adopted by the Council can now be followed by other organisations throughout the Local Government sector.”

Limerick County Manager Edmond Gleeson explained that Limerick County Council has successfully increased energy efficiency, particularly through the use of renewable energy sources.

“The Council is conscious of expenditure of public money in the delivery of services for the public good. Under this Code, for example, the Council will use all energy as efficiently as practicable, reduce energy related emissions, promote the use of renewable energy resources, and purchase all energy at the most economic cost”, added Mr. Gleeson.

In late 2008, Limerick County Hall and Library Headquarters became the first state-owned buildings in the country to install Photovoltaic solar panels to reduce their carbon footprint and energy usage. County Hall has since improved its Building Energy Rating (BER) from a D2 to a B3 and plans to achieve a B1 within the next 18 months. Typical buildings of this size typically have a BER of D2.

According to Limerick County Council’s Facilities Manager, Pádraig Power: “The building is generating electricity from 175 square metres of Photo Voltaic panels, producing 16 kW of electricity on average. A Visual Display Unit (VDU) for public viewing has been installed to relay live information on the energy being generated. The Council has published its own internal Energy Saving Workplan during 2011.”

He continued: “Significant savings have been made as a result of upgrades to current heating and lighting systems, while LED lighting has been introduced on a phased basis. Exploiting natural elements of the building design, natural lighting and ventilation has also had huge effect on energy reduction. Solar gain in the winter time has been harnessed and contributes to the heating of the building fabric. Meanwhile, Building Management Systems have been upgraded to obtain maximum savings on energy consumption.

“Staff awareness has been promoted on how individuals can contribute as they would at home. Elsewhere, our Information Technology (I.T.) Department has upgraded servers and used new more energy efficient hard drives for Personal Computers”, Mr. Power concluded.

While in Limerick County Hall today, Minister Hogan also met with the Limerick Clare Kerry Regional Waste Management Office, which recently launched an ecopledge campaign. The website campaign encourages people to show their commitment to caring for the environment by signing up to one of ten eco-friendly pledges at www.managewaste.ie/ecopledge.

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