The Value & Opportunity of Energy Efficiency for Business
There are multiple benefits for businesses investing in energy efficiency. Energy efficiency helps businesses to cut costs through energy savings, freeing up resources that can be invested in more productive activities and makes businesses more resilient and competitive. Investing in energy efficiency will often result in a more comfortable working environment. Improved energy efficiency also leads to reduced emissions – enhancing the green credentials of your business thereby contributing to national climate action goals.
The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) - a Government agency under the aegis of DCCAE - provides advice and support on improving energy efficiency. This is available on their website and in their freely available publications such as the Energy Audit Handbook & SME Guide to Energy Efficiency.
SEAI launched (in March 2018) the SME Smart Lighting program. This program encourages and supports businesses to upgrade their lighting to more energy efficient systems. Upgrading lighting can result in businesses reducing their electricity costs by up to 90%. More information on the Smart Lighting Scheme can be found at https://www.seai.ie/grants/business-grants/smart-lighting-pilot-scheme/ Please note, the closing date for 2018 applications is May 31st 2018.
Further information on what other supports are available to businesses can be found at: https://www.seai.ie/grants/business-grants/ or https://www.seai.ie/energy-in-business/
DCCAE conducted an open consultation with enterprises about energy efficiency in Q4 of 2017. The objectives were:-
- to increase awareness of the value and multiple benefits of energy efficiency for businesses;
- ascertain awareness of and interest in energy efficiency opportunities;
- find out what business were already doing about energy efficiency, and
- ask business how they might be further encouraged or supported to improve energy efficiency.
The "Report on the Findings from the DCCAE Commercial Sector Survey Consultation" (published February 2018) presents the findings from this consultation. It shows:-
- Businesses are mostly focusing on technology in the widest sense to improve their energy efficiency, ranging from sensors and metering to equipment upgrades, notably upgrading to LED lighting.
- Most businesses consulted were not aware of the range of supports available to them from SEAI to enable them become more energy efficient – but were very interested in these supports.
- There was a considerable interest in the potential of digital technology to assist in achieving improved energy efficiency.
A number of specific recommendations have been made for SEAI to consider, relating to improving awareness of supports available, potential to avail of synergies, opportunities to further leverage digital potential. More information on the findings is available in the Full report.
Market Surveillance refers to the process of monitoring by the State to ensure that market players are adhering to their legal obligations relating to specific areas. The Market Surveillance for Energy and tyre labelling and for Ecodesign fall under the aegis of DCCAE. Market Surveillance in these areas plays an important role in helping to reduce energy usage and thereby contributing to the EU and national energy efficiency and emissions reductions targets. SEAI has operational responsibility for market surveillance in Ireland of the EU Regulations on Energy Labelling/Ecodesign & Labelling of Tyres.
SEAI undertakes an ongoing programme of inspections to ascertain compliance with this legislation. It engages with stakeholders to promote awareness and compliance and monitors compliance with these regulations in Ireland. In 2017 SEAI undertook compliance inspections of retailers as well as online inspections. Product testing was also conducted to assess compliance. Whilst inspections play a pivotal role, our approach to Market Surveillance places a high emphasis on raising awareness amongst suppliers and consumers.