300m annual energy saving potential for Irish businesses
Ireland’s small businesses could save €300 million a year through simple actions to reduce energy costs, Sustainable Energy Ireland has announced. This follows the completion of 1,500 small business energy assessments over the past two years, giving SEI the most comprehensive knowledge of the energy practices and challenges facing small businesses today.
Businesses participating in SEI’s SME programme have reduced their energy costs by an average of 10-20 per cent by taking simple steps to tackle energy waste such as introducing more efficient lighting or changing temperature controls. SEI estimates that if all of Ireland’s 200,000 small businesses took similar steps, the resulting savings would be in the region of €300 million. SEI is now calling on all Irish SMEs to avail of its free energy assessments to make immediate cost savings.
“Every business is crying out for cost reductions and the good news is that they are there for the taking. Most businesses that come to SEI save at least 10 per cent of their energy costs almost immediately,” Brian Motherway, head of strategy in SEI said. “This isn’t pie in the sky stuff, we are talking about simple steps that will cut energy bills, save money and protect jobs. Many businesses are already acting and a lot of money has already been saved.”
From the 1,500 energy assessments carried out by SEI, lighting emerged as the most significant energy cost for many businesses, representing up to half the total bill for offices and shops. In restaurants and pubs, the assessments revealed that refrigeration can often be the biggest cost. Heating and air conditioning are also common costs across sectors.
SEI’s small business support programme includes free energy assessments and sector specific training programmes. For more information visit www.sei.ie
Case Studies - Energy savings achieved:
Bewley's Café, Grafton St, Dublin 2
By replacing lamps with reduced wattage Bewleys have reduced their lighting costs by 25 per cent. Other energy saving actions have included adjusted time clocks and thermostatic controls, reduced night time electricity consumption and manually switched off unnecessary equipment at night. The café is also currently switching to renewable energy sources. This forms part of wider initiatives by Campbell Bewley Group where environmental management initiatives have reduced energy usage and eliminated 3,500 tonnes of CO2 from the atmosphere each year.
Carroll & Kinsella motor dealer ship, Blackrock, Co Dublin
With 16 per cent saved in the first three months, Carroll and Kinsella have the potential to save up to 25 per cent through replacing lights and adopting energy efficient practices in the office.
Supermacs, Ballina, Co Mayo
The fast food outlet have achieved 13 per cent energy savings in 3 months by implementing a structured energy awareness policy, and providing staff energy awareness training. Other low cost energy saving measures implemented include replacing seals on cold room doors and installing a variable speed controller on the extraction system.
Dun Laoghaire Golf Club, Co Wicklow
The energy committee have achieved 12 per cent saved in energy consumption, including installing metering, lighting occupancy sensors and adjusting their air conditioning settings.
Tempest - Menarys Retail Ltd
Tempest have made 10 per cent savings to date across their property portfolio which includes 26 branches nationwide. This was achieved by appointing an energy manager and an energy team across the group and establishing an effective energy monitoring and targeting system as well as setting up energy performance actions and league tables for outlet stores. An energy management programme has been established across the group with the goal being to reduce energy consumption by approximately 25 per cent by the end of 2010.
Mathews Coaches, Monaghan
In ten months Mathews have reduced road diesel usage by 43,000 litres. Savings were achieved by introducing a formal, structured energy management programme, increasing awareness of energy efficient driving, monitoring vehicle fuel usage and changing gearbox settings.
Keane's Service Station (Strandhill) Limited, Sligo
Keane;s have achieved 10 per cent savings by improving housekeeping actions such as monitoring temperatures, implementing switch off policy, modifying cleaning regimes, replacing inefficient island freezers with closed units and installing more efficient lighting.
Blarney Woollen Mills, Dublin
8 per cent savings have been achieved by optimising air conditioning operating hours. This programme was the first step in establishing an energy management programme for the group. Senior management are committed to reducing energy throughout the Blarney Woollen Mills facilities.