Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board’s New Energy Initiative

January 2015: Minister for Education and Skills, Jan O’Sullivan T.D. today launched a new energy initiative “Lets Conserve Energy Together Better” with the Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board (LCETB) at an event held at the Limerick College of Further Education.

In developing this initiative, LCETB is cooperating with the European Commission’s Technical Assistance Facility. Through this collaboration, LCETB will be receiving funds from the European Energy Efficiency Fund (eeef) to enable it to pursue this project.

With a projected total investment in excess of €16.4 million, the new programme will see the LCETB become the first Education and Training Board in the country to undertake such an energy initiative. It will be implemented across all LCETB schools, further education centres and administrative offices throughout counties Limerick and Clare with the primary objective of reducing overall electricity and thermal energy usage by over 50% per annum.

Speaking at the launch, Minister O’Sullivan said “I am delighted to be present to launch this innovative project. I warmly welcome the fact that Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board is the first Irish Public Sector participant in the EU’s EEEF programme.  Education has a pivotal role to play in meeting the Government’s 2020 energy reduction targets and I would hope that LCETB’s example will lead the way for other education bodies to follow suit.”

Also present at the launch from schools across Limerick and Clare were student representatives from the LCETB schools’ green committees and students who were displaying their successful entries in the recent Young Scientist exhibition

Minister O’Sullivan in the course of her address also spoke directly to the students stating;

“It gives me great pleasure to see the wonderful examples of the tremendous work happening in all our schools with the display of projects from the Young Scientist’s Exhibition.  I would like to pay tribute to the students, their parents and particularly all the teachers involved for the work in producing such exciting projects.  I would also encourage the student and teacher members’ of the various Green Schools Committees here today to continue their great work in raising awareness of environmental issues and making our schools better places for both students and staff.”

Zarpana Signor, from the European Energy Efficiency Fund (eeef), said that “eeef welcomes the opportunity to cooperate with the LCETB in bringing this landmark project forward.  We have a strong ambition to be a constant driver for the conversion of European cities and communities into low carbon environments and accompany our partners along their successful implementation path. With this project, we are getting closer towards achieving the eeef’s aim to support the 20/20/20 goals of the European Union to promote a sustainable energy market and foster climate protection.“

The European Energy Efficiency Fund (eeef) S.A., SICAV-SIF is a “société d’investissement à capital variable” governed by Luxembourg law and was initiated by the European Commission in cooperation with the European Investment Bank. The initial capitalization provided by the European Commission was increased with contributions from the sponsors European Investment Bank, Cassa Depositi e Prestiti as well as the investment advisor Deutsche Bank AG.

George O’Callaghan, Chief Executive of LCETB said “We’re proud to be the first Education and Training Board (ETB) in Ireland to take on this challenge and we hope that our commitment and efforts will ensure that the Irish education sector plays a pivotal role in contributing to Ireland’s 2020 energy reduction targets.”

“Our goal is to enhance the learning environment for students and instructors, by carrying out energy efficiency deep retrofit projects and installing renewable energy systems at appropriate sites. This initiative will benefit and empower local communities, create employment and promote a culture of awareness, efficiency and best practice for all LCETB stakeholders.”

To date the project has received technical assistance funding in excess of €300,000 to undertake the first phase of work which is due for completion by the end of December 2016. This first phase includes the completion of energy audits at all 49 LCETB sites in Clare and Limerick.

Following on from the energy audits a Register of Opportunities will be developed for each site across the ETB in order to determine the programme plan for the project works.  This Technical Assistance will facilitate the development of 49 building retrofit projects as well as the instalment of renewable energy components. It is envisaged that contracts for the second phase (subject to funding) will commence in January 2017 with estimated value ranges of between €500,000 and €1,000,000. The eeef is considering providing part of the funding for the overall investment programme of €16.4 million once the Technical Assistance phase is successfully completed, subject to the Fund’s investment appetite for this region and approval of its internal committees.

Aramark Ireland, has been appointed by LCETB as the Energy Service Provider to undertake the above programme of works.

David Collins, Head of Energy Services, Aramark Ireland said “We’re delighted to be working with the Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board as they lead the way in energy reform in the education and training sector.  This programme will not only lead to environmental savings but also to economic savings and we will support them with our knowledge and expertise as they transition towards a more sustainable and energy efficient operation.”