Funded by the Government of Ireland, the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) today announced the winners of its 2019 Energy Awards at a gala event which saw National University of Ireland Galway (NUIG) take away the top prize for Energy Team of the Year.
NUIG has set its sights on the campus being one of the greenest universities in the world. They impressed judges with their inclusive and long-term approach to energy management. As part of its strategy, it created a Green Campus Charter, encouraging and providing tools to students and staff on how they can reduce energy use on campus and in their homes. Already at 36% energy reduction, NUIG continue to work towards their ambitious target of a 40% energy reduction by 2020.
A total of nine awards were presented to businesses, communities and public sector organisations recognising their commitment and dedication to excellence in energy management and creating a cleaner energy future.
Congratulating all the finalists and award winners, Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Richard Bruton T.D. said;
“How we respond to the challenge of climate disruption will define us as a generation. These awards are a good opportunity to highlight those taking leadership and managing their energy use in a more sustainable way. Those being recognised here today are beacons to their communities, showcasing how we can all step up and change our behaviour. Making these changes not only means less carbon in the atmosphere, but also means healthier lives and more comfortable living.”
Julie O’Neill, Chair of SEAI, said:
“The SEAI Energy Awards celebrate the absolute best of Ireland’s sustainable energy achievements. They are a vivid demonstration of how Irish business, communities and public organisations are pushing the boundaries in energy efficiency and the switch to clean energy. The 134 plus entrants in this year’s Awards have made energy savings of €38 million. The continued efforts and outstanding ambition of this year’s finalists is to be commended.”
This year, for the first time, awards were presented for Emerging Sustainability Champion and Outstanding Contribution to Sustainable Energy.
Marie Donnelly received an award for Outstanding Contribution to Sustainable Energy. Throughout her thirty year career in the European Commission, Marie has been a leading advocate of policies and strategies to accelerate our energy transition. She formulated key elements of the ‘Clean Energy for All Europeans’ package, designed to put energy efficiency first, achieve global leadership in renewable energies, and provide a fair deal for consumers.
Speaking on her Award win, Marie Donnelly said:
“I am very honoured to win this SEAI Energy Award. I believe energy efficiency is the foundation of our climate action and ultimate decarbonisation of our society.”
Victory Luke received the Emerging Sustainability Champion award. Victory’s school had benefited from an SEAI community energy grant and that acted as the impetus for her to take up the climate action mantle. In June of this year, Victory addressed the International Energy Agency’s 4th Annual Global Conference on Energy Efficiency which was held in Dublin. She spoke openly of her concerns for the future, her own willingness to take action and her determination to encourage others to do the same.
Other winners of the Awards include; Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council (Public Sector); Flahavan’s, Waterford (SME); Astellas Ireland, Kerry (Buildings); Kilanerin-Ballyfad Community Development Association, Wexford (Sustainable Energy Community); Ashleigh Environmental Limited, Waterford (Research and Innovation); and Tipperary Cooperative Creamery Ltd. (Large Business).
For full details on all winning projects, visit www.seai.ie.