One of the biggest global challenges is climate change and the need to reduce emissions. The EU Climate and Energy Package, which came out of the Paris talks in December 2015, mandates for 20% savings in energy by 2020.
To ensure that Ireland meets its commitments in this area, the public sector is seeking to make a 33% saving, which will amount to 10% of Ireland’s total saving. Furthermore, Dublin City Council’s Sustainable Energy Action Plan commits to achieving at least 20% CO2 reductions by 2020.
In 2012, smart meters were installed in the Wood Quay building, to give energy usage updates – including where, how, and how much energy is being used – every 15 minutes.
This smart energy system can also be used to remotely control the building’s heating systems, as well as set timers for sub-systems such as the ventilation of car parks. The information which is fed back subsequently allows the Energy Manager to monitor and adjust heating and cooling systems in real-time.
2016 results demonstrated a decrease of 25% in electricity consumption since 2012 and, thus far, 2017 is showing further falls in consumption. With regard to gas, DCC has used 19% less gas in 2017 as compared to 2012.
Resulting directly from these improvements to the Wood Quay building’s energy efficiency, the Civic Offices have been awarded ISO50001 certification.
Smart monitoring systems, such as this one, will achieve a lot more when they are part of a bigger plan to cut carbon emissions and save on energy bills. So, while the Energy Manager and energy bodies such as Codema and SEAI can implement measures to achieve goals, success is also very much dependent on the collaboration of staff. As a result, Dublin City Council is working with Codema to analyse energy data and to see where improvements can be made across the city, through a Register of Opportunities.