Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr Séamus McGrath together with Chief Executive of Cork County Council, Tim Lucey received the Sustainable Energy Association of Ireland Public Sector Award 2016 at a presentation in Kilmainham on the 3rd November 2016.
The award recognised Cork County Council as the first Local Authority in Ireland to develop and implement an Energy Management System that is fully certified to ISO 50001. The key challenge was to develop a system that could deal with the diversity of services provided by the Council. This system required the development of performance indicators for a diverse array of services ranging from road maintenance and street lighting to running leisure centres and libraries. Cork County Council has provided a roadmap and template, allowing other local authorities to follow in their footsteps.
Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr Séamus McGrath spoke of the win ‘I am overjoyed to see such an accolade from SEAI which is recognition of the incredible efforts made by all to deliver on this system. Cork County Council has spent the last 20 years working toward efficient energy management. We were the first local authority to set up an Energy Agency in 1995 and established our Energy Management System in 2012. Considering we have an average annual spend of €7 million on energy, any and all savings generated by such initiatives are savings that benefit our environment and enable us to redirect financial savings into other services.’
Chief Executive of Cork County Council, Tim Lucey, also spoke of the wealth of initiatives undertaken in order to achieve ISO 50001 accreditation, ‘Over the last 4 years, our Energy Management System team have successfully implemented over 120 projects, saving over 3 million kWh in energy and €630,000. We have introduced a new public lighting policy requiring any new schemes to have high efficiency bulbs (LEDs) and recently upgraded all our inhabited Islands to LED lighting, saving on maintenance and energy costs. We are now using Energy Efficient Design in all our new projects, for example, our new swimming pool in Dunmanway is using the latest Combined Heat and Power Plant and solar thermal energy to heat the pool water. We are always seeking new and innovative ways to deliver on energy saving.’
Mayor McGrath went on to say ‘I would like to congratulate all involved on achieving this wonderful result. This award is recognition of the possibilities that are available when we work together and use our highly valued resources wisely. With the assistance of SEAI, we have been able to deliver key savings, both environmentally and financially, enabling us to develop further services for the people of Cork.’
Cork Companies took home two other top prizes at the National Sustainable Energy Awards.
Johnson & Johnson Campus Ireland claimed this years overall Leadership award for it’s efforts towards reducing CO2 by 20% by the year 2020.
And, Ovens based company Dell EMC accepted the Large Industry Award for it’s ongoing commitment to reducing energy usage through a range of energy efficiency measures.