Ireland’s largest energy users saved €12.4 million in energy costs in 2018, that is according to the annual review released today by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI). The review shows that the reduction in carbon emissions achieved is equivalent to taking over 23,000 petrol or diesel cars off Ireland’s roads.

This review presents the energy performance of the SEAI Large Industry Energy Network in 2018. The large industry energy network is made up of 190 companies with annual energy bills of €1 million or over including; food and drink companies like Kerry Group and Diageo, pharmachem companies like Pfizer, Astellas Ireland and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), electronic companies like Google and Microsoft and many other large multinational and Irish owned companies. Collectively they employ 134,000 people and account for one fifth of Ireland’s total primary energy use. The members have made a commitment to reducing energy use across their business.

Companies within the PharmaChem sector make up over one fifth of the overall network membership, with members from the traditional bulk active pharmaceutical companies, final product packaging and the newly emerging bio pharma area. PharmaChem performed very strongly in 2018 with a 15% improvement in energy efficiency compared to 2017, at a time of increasing output. This demonstrates that against a backdrop of increasing output real energy savings can still be made by employing a structured approach to energy management.

The food and drink sector have the largest number of members in the network at almost 33% of the total membership. Excellence in energy management continues to be critical to members success in this competitive international marketplace. On average over the last 12 years annual performance improvement is 2.1%, helping to make Ireland’s international food and drinks business more competitive each year.

Network members in the electronics sector are responsible for 9% of the network’s total primary energy requirement. The sector recorded an overall energy efficiency improvement of over 2.7% for 2018, consistent with the average annual improvement of almost 2.7% over the last 12 years.

The review shows the continued improvement in energy performance among the country’s biggest energy users against a backdrop of business growth.

Over 40% of network members are certified to the international energy management standard ISO 50001. Through deeper and more structured engagement, network members have achieved average annual energy performance gains of 1.8% over the last five years, delivering further savings and reductions in emissions.

Commenting on the work of network members, Fergus Sharkey, Head of Business and Public Sector, said:

“The results of this review are further evidence that investing in energy efficiency is as much a good businesses decision as it is a socially responsible one. As large energy users, the members of our network are achieving significant, long-term savings through an enhanced understanding and management of their energy needs. These businesses have an imperative to grow, so is very positive to see a decoupling of productivity and energy consumption in some sectors.

Many of our network members have been leading the energy transformation of Irish industry for decades and are seeing the dividends of their investment in energy efficiency appear on their bottom line. This leadership provides clear case studies for other businesses to follow and has also built a hugely experienced and valuable Irish supply chain that can help execute these projects. We look forward to continuing our support to Irish business as it reduces its consumption and decarbonises its supply.”

The annual review, including a breakdown of results by each network member, is available online here. To find out more about the SEAI Large Industry Energy Network or for business advice and information on energy grants available to businesses please visit,