At an event to celebrate Sustainable Energy Ireland's (SEI) first five years in operation - hosted by David Taylor, Chief Executive Officer of SEI and attended by the new Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Mr. Eamon Ryan, T.D. - SEI welcomed the decision to raise the bar for its House of Tomorrow programme to an energy performance of 60% above the level set in the current building regulations.
The decision comes as the proven success of the House of Tomorrow programme will see its current energy standards for dwellings of 40% above current regulations, become mandatory under new Building Regulations to be introduced before the end of 2007, as part of the new Programme for Government.
Mr Taylor said - "Significant improvement in the energy performance of the national housing stock is necessary if we are to succeed in our overall goal of moving to a more sustainable market-based energy economy in Ireland. The new programme targets will assist evidence-based policy making in Ireland as they ensure a reduction in CO2 emissions and encourage an improvement in levels of energy-efficient design and construction in new Irish housing."
Under the next phase of its House of Tomorrow programme, SEI will provide funding to group housing developments which have energy efficiency ratings of 60% above the current Building Regulations.
Since it was established in 2002, SEI has worked towards meeting the policy goals of secure energy supplies, competitive energy services and environmental protection. SEI has facilitated, through its activities, more environmentally and economically sustainable production, supply and use of energy across the economy - including the home, public, commercial and industrial sectors.
"SEI has been involved in a range of initiatives across every sector of the economy for the last five years. Our success has been to instill a focus on energy efficiency and sustainable technologies, as well as providing access to support and practical solutions for implementing energy efficient measures across all of sectors of the economy, from industry - through our large industry energy network ( LIEN programme) - to consumers via initiatives like 'House of Tomorrow' and the 'Greener Homes Scheme'.
"We are confident that the targets set out in the Government White Paper - 'Delivering a Sustainable Energy Future for Ireland' (Click Here) are within Ireland's capability. In meeting these goals, we expect that renewable energy technologies, such as wind, bio-energy, solar - and, in time, ocean, will grow significantly to provide more sustainable electricity, heat and energy for transport" - continued David Taylor.
SEI Activity Highlights 2002-2007
Renewable Energy -
* €27.3m in total funding and investment committed to renewable energy research, development and demonstration projects - 107 national and international projects
* €5m in energy savings achieved through Public Sector Approved Projects - 151 projects in sports centres, local authority offices, public buildings and educational establishments.
* e3 Energy Management Bureau for third level colleges enabled DIT, TCD, DCU and UCD to reduce energy consumption by 10% in 30 buildings, resulting in a saving of 1,700 tonnes of CO2 emissions
* 13 District Heating and CHP feasibility studies supported
* 21 capital support projects and 8 feasibility studies were supported under the pilot ReHeat - eliminating 1,685 tonnes of oil per annum
* 780 MW of grid-connected wind energy - powering 370,000 homes
* Wind Atlas for Ireland - developed by SEI in 2003 and which is now the cornerstone for all wind farm design and development in Ireland
* SEI co-developed an Ocean Energy strategy with the Marine Institute in April 2006
* 14,000 applicants approved for the Greener Homes Scheme - since its introduction in 2006.
Energy Efficiency -
* SEI Industry Programme - cumulative savings equivalent to CO2 emissions of 57,000 homes
* SEI House of Tomorrow programme - reached every county of Ireland and currently includes 5,300 homes in 124 developments, with funding support of over €33m
* 12,000 low-income houses upgraded with energy efficient features
* Energy Management Action Programme (Energy MAP) - online support tool for business launched.
Integration and Innovation -
* The Dundalk Sustainable Energy Zone initiated
* Over 1,500 education workshops held - involving 45,000 students nationwide
* 18 reports from the Energy Policy and Statistical Support Unit (EPSSU) published.
Sustainable Energy Ireland (SEI) is the statutory authority charged with promoting and assisting the development of sustainable energy. SEI is funded by the Irish Government under the National Development Plan, with programmes part-financed by the European Union.