Tuesday, 4 March 2008
Dáil Eireann Debate
599. Deputy Andrew Doyle asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources the measures being taken by his Department and its agencies to reduce their carbon footprint in 2007/2008. [9438/08]
Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources (Deputy Eamon Ryan): As the Deputy may be aware, on taking office I committed to a major review of energy use in the Department’s Headquarters building in Adelaide Rd. The elements of this review, aimed at significantly reducing carbon emissions, have already been agreed between my Department and the Office of Public Works (OPW). The project involves re-commissioning and upgrading of Building Management Systems, reducing base energy loads, installing additional energy controls, reducing energy demands in high use areas, reducing solar gain in areas under significant glass cover. OPW are assessing, as a priority, the feasibility of employing passive energy solutions on behalf of the Department.
In addition, my Department is working closely with the Office of Public Works in implementing a wider energy conservation initiative aimed at enhancing energy efficiency in selected managed buildings. The OPW’s programme, which aims to reduce carbon emissions by 15%, includes my Department’s buildings at Adelaide Road and Beggars Bush. This programme will run in parallel with the specific energy efficiency plan being put in place for the Adelaide Road complex. The approach adopted will be to primarily focus on the changing of attitudes, behaviour and habits that requires a balanced approach to energy conservation tasks.
A senior Official of my Department has met with the representative of the OPW appointed facilities management team and, given our energy brief, I am happy to inform the House that my Department wholeheartedly supports the OPW initiative and will be among the first Public Bodies to avail of the lectures/seminar element of the programme and to get the OPW programme up and running. The lectures are due to start in my Department this week.
In addition, my Officials met recently with representatives of the OPW in relation to the finalisation of the specification for my Department’s new headquarters building in Cavan to be provided under the Government’s decentralisation programme. The issue of making the new building as energy efficient as possible in terms of promoting passive energy solutions and use of renewable energy and the promotion of energy efficiency in general was high on the list of priorities at these discussions. State Agencies have access to OPW’s expertise and to its energy efficiency programme, however the issue of energy efficiency for State Agencies is a day-to-day operational matter for the agencies themselves in which I have no function.
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