Like many organisations in Ireland, Armagh city Council, were keen to reduce their energy costs. They needed a simple and affordable way to get decision makers of varying backgrounds up to speed on the main challenges and proven solutions. Aidan Mallon, property services manager with Armagh City Council had previously attended a sustainability study tour by RealEyes and asked us to put something together. Word spread so the tour ended up as a joint Armagh, Down and Craigavon district councils initiative with additional participation from the Eastern Border Region, ICBAN, and Meath, Louth and Newry councils.
The Brief : Inform the debate around what energy management practices make financial sense for councils, with a particular focus on energy management in public buildings
The Proposal: A bespoke, one-day learning experience visiting best practice examples in energy management for public buildings in Dublin and connecting participants with those behind each project so they could learn from their triumphs, mistakes and advice. Key content areas included energy management options for heritage buildings, return on investment for different interventions, the role of engaging building users as energy efficiency champions and innovative financing arrangements through energy performance contracting. Each illustrated by stories of how these strategies were implemented in reality along with the outcomes achieved.
Results - Study Tour vs. Conference (cost & efficacy)
- 80% saving per person - €70 vs. €400 (day cost to attend Energy Ireland 2012 in Croke Park)
- 100% relevant – Content tailored and produced in collaboration with client
- Full attendance guaranteed
- More fun / engaging / interesting – participant driven and co-created
Study Tour at a Glance
- Attendees: 26
- Site Visits : 2, Kilbarrack fire station and the Mansion House Dublin
- Number of Presentations: 3, Dalkia for Stewarts Hospital, PowerTherm for E3 initiative and Aramark for OPW
- Satisfied Customers: 26 – see testimonials below
- Cost per head: £60 / €70 – not including lunch / transport
- Agenda : 11 – 5pm with one hour for lunch
- Testimonial 1 – Joseph Birt Testimonial, Specialist Support Officer – Building Control, Down District Council
- Testimonial 2 – Aidan Mallon, Property Services Manager, Armagh City & District Council
Study Tour Report - Local Authority Energy Management Learning Tour – Dublin March 27, 2012
Introduction: On a sunny March 27th RealEyes Sustainability Ltd hosted a learning tour for Armagh, Down and Craigavon district councils, the Eastern Border Region, ICBAN, Meath, Louth and Newry councils. The purpose of the tour was to inform the debate around what energy management practices make financial sense for Councils, with a particular focus on energy management in public buildings. The tour visited examples of best practice in Dublin and heard from the people behind each project to learn from their triumphs, mistakes and advice. The key content areas included energy management options for heritage buildings, return on investment for different interventions, the role of engaging building users as energy efficiency champions as well as innovative financing arrangements through energy performance contracting. Each was illustrated by stories of how these strategies were implemented in reality along with the outcomes achieved.
KILBARRACK FIRE STATION
The tour started off in Kilbarrack Fire Station with Neil McCabe. Neil, a fireman and award winning green leader in the world’s first carbon neutral fire station pointed out the many innovations he had installed to save energy, water and waste and how he managed to generate buy-in from all stakeholders throughout his journey. He described how his green plan started as a way to improve staff morale and recycle batteries. Now the aim is to save energy, waste and water and ringfence the money for further improvements. The fire station is almost off grid thanks to 40 new wind turbines sitting on an exciting handball alley and soon to be greenwall. Thermodynamic solar panels, waterless urinals and a rainwater butt have allowed the fire station to be 90% water independent. The energy and heat measures allowed for the gas bill to reduce by €27,000 in one year. Allotments provide food on site for the fire-fighters in addition to bartering fruits and vegetables with the local community. The allotments sit in the memorial garden which is open to local hospice patients. Kilbarrack Firestation has become a blueprint for firestaions in Dublin. The ring fenced money has also allowed for sustainability initiative to become a reality in other fire stations in Dublin. The Dublin City Council Manager called the fire station a ‘Hub of Sustainability’
CONSERVATION BUILDING ENERGY MANAGEMENT – DUBLIN’S MANSION HOUSE
The Mansion House is the official residence of Dublin’s Lord Mayor since 1715. The mansion house is also the home of some very modern energy management features including solar PV, solar thermal, acoustic and thermal performance measures for sash windows and LED lighting. Edith BlennerHasset of Engineering Environments worked with Dublin City council and the Sustainable energy authority of Ireland on the project. It was a three tired approach – reduce demand, energy efficiency and implements renewables. Initially the boiler was changed from oil to a high efficiency gas boiler. The house was zoned with a time clock or thermostat for each zone. The pipeworks were insulated, this reduced energy bills by 10% and the lighting bill has been reduced by 20% with the implementation of LEDs. A Building Management System is linked to Dublin City Council so the temperature, lighting and heat can be adjusted according to use. The Lord Mayor even dropped by for tea and gave the group the history of the house and some of it’s occupants.
ENERGY MANAGEMENT ACROSS MULTIPLE BUILDING TYPES/USE – POWERTHERM
E3 is a programme where all five Dublin universities have worked together to agree a common agenda and approach to reducing energy costs. With savings of over 5 million Euro and 23k tonnes of greenhouse gases the programme has more than paid for itself. Cian O’ Riordan, a Powerthem engineer described the different energy management interventions he used and how the programme deals with the diversity of age and use of the buildings involved. E3 covered 30 buildings with utility bills of €3m. The goals is to reduce this by 10% in 3 years. The program now covers 90 buildings with a €9m spend but the original goals stands.
ENERGY PERFORMANCE CONTRACTING – CASE STUDY – DALKIA
Stewarts Hospital worked with energy services company Dalkia, to retrofit 30 plus buildings on their 1km² campus in West Dublin using an ESCO model. In 2009 Dalkia supplied the up front capital of €1.15 million (with a further €350k grant from SEAI) which Stewarts will repay over 15 years from savings on its utility bills. This initiative recently won the Public-Private Healthcare Collaboration Award at the Healthcare Innovation Awards. As part of the energy management plan a new energy centre was built with a 140kWe CHP unit, 2 new steam boilers and a 700kW LTHW boiler. Zone heating controls were implemented and a 30 point monitoring and targeting system was installed. The replacing of the lighting and photocells has a return on investment of 2 to 5 years. Overall savings in year one were €230k and in year two €400k. The savings in year one were 51% savings on grid electricity and 40% saving on heating oil and 1200+ tonnes of carbon savings. In phase two 23 solar thermal systems were installed for domestic hot water and the controls now call for solar energy first. Phase two has 467 controlled heating zones; this has reduced fossil fuels by a further 11%. Bonded bead cavity has been used to insulate 22 buildings. The forecast is 41% reduction in fossil fuel consumption and not using any oil at all on site.
CHANGING ENERGY BEHAVIOUR OF BUILDING USERS – ARAMARK
The combination of real-time energy monitoring and staff training employed by the office of public works across 250 of their buildings has produced an average return on investment per building of 17.5%. Allan Cooke is the energy services manager with Aramark, the party contracted to manage the programme for OPW. He explained how they did it, what they learned along the way and where they go from here. The objective was to save 20% CO2 in 21 months. The majority of energy emissions from the building were from electricity (78%) so utility bills and pollution could be reduced significantly through behaviour modification. By only turning on what equipment was needed there was a 10% saving. Savings of 20% were made by staff alone. Some of initiatives were:
- switching off equipment/lights when not in use
- energy saving modes on equipment
- print and copying in batches
- labels on switches
- switching off heating and air conditioning before windows open
- closing windows in the evening
- not blocking radiators
- thermal monthly posters to highlight savings and keep staff motivated
Taken together these measures reduced demand by 101,269 MWh in 2011, an average saving of 17.5% return on investment across 500 buildings.