Energy Efficiency and Micro Generation

Project Title:             Energy Efficiency and Micro Generation

Project Partners:       10 Member Councils of EBR LTD

                                    Dundalk Institute of Technology

Project Budget:                 £778,814

Project Aim:  The overarching aim of the project is through partnership and cross border co-operation, to enhance the sustainability of Council buildings and demonstrate how it is possible to reduce the Regions reliance on fossil fuels and consequently deliver significant reductions in CO2 emissions; to supporting the emerging micro generation industry and encourage local enterprises to become more cost effective through independent research and the creation of six demonstration 'exemplar projects' embedded within the community.

Project Summary: This proposal, through cross border partnership, intends to empower ten Local Authorities to make significant reductions in their fossil fuel consumption, with corresponding reductions in carbon dioxide emissions from Council Buildings. 

The project will be a catalyst for the development of the emerging renewable energies through a number of 'best practice' exemplar projects, which will give credibility and showcase the various technologies.  It aims to establish, based on actual field testing, those technologies which are most effective when used in the climate in the North West of Europe. 

The findings will be published in an easy to understand format for the benefit of citizens, SME's and the Micro Generation Industry.  Through seminars and conferences, this project will explain to the business sector how their businesses can reduce costs and become more efficient through better energy management, using the Local Authorities 'Exemplar projects' as local case studies, which will be made available for interested parties to visit. The project also includes direct educational benefits, through our partnership with the research centre at Dundalk Institute of Technology.

This project was developed jointly by all 10 partner Councils under the auspices of the EBR Energy Sub Group, hence the project concept, format and content was developed through a regional bottom up approach.

An important component of the project development stems from the regionally developed Environmental Website project which was funded under INTERREG IIIA and developed by the 10 partner Council's. Feedback from the website has identified a need to provide practical examples on the use of renewable energy technology and methods for improving energy efficiency of buildings within the region.  The development of this project will meet this need.   

A working group composed of all 10 councils has been maintained to develop and deliver the application. This group of Officers meets at various locations throughout the region on a regular basis.

Thus illustrating a bottom up approach with the two sustainability officers employed the initial SBEM audits would be the first seed for reports to each partner council. Of the 10 reports eight Exemplar projects will be used to highlight ways of reducing emissions by 25%. The results then published every five years. This will lead into two key seminars where the information will be disseminated to local businesses. News articles, business leaflets, video case studies, thermal images etc

Many Councils have worked in isolation to produce Display Energy Certificates for a limited number of the largest of Councils buildings in response to the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive.  Some have taken this further, by considering how energy costs can be reduced by undertaking some further investigation on an unstructured basis.

What we are proposing has not yet been attempted or achieved, it goes further than that required by the Directive, and promotes leading edge energy management best practice. We intend to apply a consistent audit methodology to 50 Local Authority buildings, which consume the largest amount of energy and by applying this consistent approach will provide Councils with detailed accurate reports across the region, which will enable benchmarking of performance.

These reports will enable Councils to make informed decisions on the most cost effective means of investing their limited resources to attain the maximum environmental and financial benefits.  This approach to detailed energy management, if achieved, may be extended and rolled out to other Councils beyond the region.  The same methodology could be applied to any (non-domestic) private or public portfolio of buildings.  This aspect of the proposal is truly setting the standard, potentially for others to follow, as best practice energy management.

The 8 'Exemplar projects' will be ed from public buildings within the community, to which the community already have a degree of affinity.  Through the communication strategy, they will be kept fully updated on the projects, which will in turn raise the general awareness of energy efficiency and micro generation.  This innovative approach, by using local public buildings to which the public have easy access, will make the technologies more 'main stream' and provide an independent impartial source of information for individuals considering such measures. 

Not only will the Exemplar projects include the traditional signage/ information panels explaining the technologies, we intend to have specialised interactive displays illustrating the challenges and virtues encountered when undertaking these projects.  Integral to the displays will be 'energy meters' in the public areas, informing visitors of the actual energy output at any given time.

By utilising the very latest thermal imaging technologies, it will be possible to display, an easy to understand format, photographic colour thermal images of buildings identifying wastefully thermal energy loss. This is particularly important when auditing the 150 buildings as it makes the findings graphical. The images will also form a powerful part of the public displays in the Exemplar Buildings, by showing before and after images, highlighting the efficiencies which have been achieved.  The camera will also be used by individual Councils as an educational tool for Schools, Colleges, Builders, Architects and Local Politicians, to increase awareness of energy efficiency and the impact of poor energy management within the built environment.

This project, through the research and analysis phase, aims to end the uncertainty and scepticism which exists in relation to the efficiency of the various micro generation technologies.  By entering into this unique partnership with Dundalk Institute of Technology (DkIT), we will determine conclusively, those technologies which are best suited to the climate in the East Border Region of Ireland, and more generally, the North Western part of the European Union. 

By comparing each of the micro renewables and determine accurate in-situ outputs, carbon reductions and payback periods against initial investment,  we can then measure those performances against more traditional fabric energy saving measures and produce fact based performance data.  This information will be issued quarterly, with unrestricted access, to the public, business, the construction sector and the wider environmental community, via. the 'sustainandbuild.com website.  The research findings, being independent and impartial will give confidence and credibility to the developing sustainability sector.

The cutting edge research, which we will perform will enable us to undertake direct comparisons of the theoretical outputs from simulated energy efficiency computer modelling against the actual improvements attained using the various methods in the Exemplars.  By validating, or otherwise, the outputs from the computer models, it will be of enormous benefit to the entire construction sector.  If the theoretical results can be validated, it will mean these models can be used by energy auditors with confidence to give their clients accurate predictions of the likely energy savings, and consequently the reduction in Carbon outputs. 

For Further Information on this project please contact:

 

Mr Raymond Haughey

Project Manager

Tel: 028 4461 0800 / 028 3831 2506

Email: Raymond.EBR@downdc.gov.uk

 

Mr Bryan Crowe

Project Officer

Tel: 028 4461 0800

Email: Bryan.EBR@downdc.gov.uk

Visit - www.sustainandbuild.com

  • Monaghan
  • LCC
  • MCC
  • Newry, Mourne and Down District Council
  • Ards and North Down Borough Council
  • Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council