Sunday 18 November 2007

Sustainable Energy Awards 2007 - winners record €23m in energy savings

Sustainable Energy Ireland (SEI) has announced the winners of the Sustainable Energy Awards 2007 at a gala event in Dublin's Crown Plaza Hotel.

Inchydoney Lodge & Spa, Diageo and Pfizer Ireland Pharmaceuticals were among the eight winners of the Awards, which included entries from all sizes of organisations in both the Republic and Northern Ireland. The Awards, now in their eleventh year, are organised by SEI and sponsored by ESB Customer Supply.

The Sustainable Energy Awards are intended to encourage, recognise and reward excellence in energy management in the industrial, commercial and public sectors. In response to an increasing level of interest from smaller companies, a new award category - 'Energy Efficiency Project in a Small and Medium Enterprise' - was included for the first time this year. This new category recorded the highest number of nominations across all of the categories.

Companies participating in the Awards recorded average energy savings of 7% - equating to overall cost savings of €23 million. The equivalent of 211,000 tonnes of CO2 have also been removed from the atmosphere - which is similar to taking 77,000 new cars off Irish roads.

Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Eamon Ryan T.D., who was guest of honour at the event and presented the Awards, said - "It is very encouraging to see such vigour and enthusiasm among the organisations participating in these awards. I'm aware that many of these organisations have entered in the past and have long-established programmes in place in the area of energy efficiency.

"However, it is the smaller companies - the SMEs - which also account for a proportion of Ireland's CO2 output, that I am particularly encouraged to see represented so well in these awards. Energy management practices are not just the preserve of large industry with dedicated resources and teams, but a commercial imperative for enterprises of all shapes and sizes."

Inchydoney Lodge & Spa - which secures 37% of its energy from a renewable resource - won the Award for Renewable Energy Project. The hotel developed a combination system of solar panels, wood pellet boiler and heat recovery system, which will reduce the hotel's annual fuel bill by over €50,000 and save annual emissions of 424 tonnes of CO2. In 2006, energy consumption decreased by 8.7%, despite an increase in the hotel's activity.

Martin Corkery, Pfizer Ireland Pharmaceuticals' Energy Team Leader, based in Loughbeg, was awarded with the prestigious title of Energy Manager of the Year. The judges acknowledged Mr Corkery's long and distinguished track record in energy management, including his role in Pfizer's recent certification to IS 393 - the Irish Energy Management Standard. In 2006, eleven major energy-saving projects were undertaken at Pfizer Loughbeg under Martin's supervision. These and other projects contributing to the achievement of IS 393 resulted in a CO2 reduction of 2,254 tonnes for the site.

Diageo, St James Gate Brewery, Dublin received the award for Coordinated Energy Management Programme for its extensive energy management programme undertaken during a period which also saw significant increases in production at the plant. Major efficiency gains were delivered, with the plant achieving cost savings in excess of €2 million and CO2 emission savings of over 80,000 tonnes.

David Taylor, Chief Executive, SEI said - "These Awards are an important reminder of the achievements of business in Ireland at a time when energy and climate change are high on the political agenda across Europe. We now have tangible evidence that the level of savings achieved by companies involved in our large industry programmes - such as LIEN and IS 393 - are also possible in their smaller counterparts. This year, SEI will have worked with almost 1000 businesses of all sizes and in all sectors - all striving to reduce energy costs and, in so doing, enhance their competitiveness and the growth prospects of the economy."

Brid Horan, Executive Director of ESB Customer Supply, said - "Energy efficiency is now a crucial aspect of the energy debate. There is an onus on all suppliers to actively promote an energy-saving culture. The Sustainable Energy Awards have never been more important - they stimulate and encourage energy savings initiatives that can become part and parcel of every business strategy."

The Sustainable Energy Awards 2007 Winners -

* Category A: Energy Efficiency project in a Small and Medium Enterprise
Spring Grove Services, Millfield
* Category B: Energy Efficiency project in a Large Enterprise
Boliden Tara Mines
* Category C: Renewable Energy Project
The Lodge & Spa at Inchydoney Island
* Category D: Energy Awareness Campaign
PacifiCare International Ltd
* Category E: Energy Service or Supply Company
Eirdata Environmental Services Ltd
* Category F: Excellence in Building Design or Specification
MCO Architecture/Mater Orchard Convent
* Category G: Coordinated Energy Management Programme
Diageo St James's Gate Brewery
* Category H: Energy Manager of the Year
Martin Corkery, Pfizer Ireland Pharmaceuticals, Loughbeg.

Originally launched in 1996 as the Boiler Awards and renamed the Sustainable Energy Awards in 2004, the awards support three crucial aspects of Sustainable Energy -

* Excellence in Technology
* Excellence in Organisation - and
* Excellence in People.

In 1996, 65 sites were involved in the competition - accounting for an annual energy spend on fuel of €24 million. The projects undertaken yielded energy savings of €368,000. In 2006, entries from Northern Ireland were invited for the first time. This year, 225 nominations were received - resulting in 101 entries with a combined energy spend of €290 million.

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