ESB Progress in Sustainability

Each day, we work hard to make progress in our sustainable objectives, which are based around the five priorities of the ESB Group Strategy 2025. We report on our progress in sustainability on an annual basis through our Annual Sustainability Report and by issuing six bi-monthly progress updates against our strategic objectives. We seek to provide a balanced view of our progress and the challenges we face in progressing towards a low carbon economy.

Our Progress in Key Operating Areas

Our progress in the area of Generation/Supply Business

  • Total CO2 emissions in 2014 reduced by 168K to 9.15m tonnes. In the same period, the Carbon Intensity reduced by 2g/KWh to 576g/KWh. The market conditions continue to favour coal generation.
  • Woodhouse 20MW wind farm turbine erection has been completed, with the project now due to be in commercial operation in Q3 2015. In March, ESB and UK Green Investment Bank plc (GIB) made a joint commitment to invest in a new STG£175m renewable power facility at the Port of Tilbury, Essex, UK. The agreement marks ESB's first investment in the UK's biomass sector.
  • Substantial compliance with applicable environmental legislation was reported by all business units. An on-going process of engagement with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) is in place on relevant environmental matters.
  • On-going engagement continues with all relevant stakeholder parties on carbon policy issues in the lead up to COP21 in Paris.
  • Recruitment of new participants in the Demand Side Unit scheme is on-going. A Smarter Living trial programme is up and running with an initial recruitment of 600 customers.
  • 100 GWh (against a three year target of 420GWh) of energy savings were signed off for 2014. Particular success was achieved in the Energy poor sector where ESB secured credits for the three year period (2014-2016).


Our Progress in Advanced Networks

  • 567km of network was converted from 10kV to 20kV during 2014. Conversion target for 2015 is 1870kms.
  • An additional 360MW of renewables were connected to the grid on an all-island basis in 2014.
  • The ESB Real Value project received EU Horizon 2020 funding in 2014. This project will see the installation of a storage solution and profile metering in 800 homes in Ireland and the installation of advanced monitoring and control capability in medium voltage substations associated with the trial.
  • ESB Networks has proceeded to the detailed design and procurement phase and is actively working towards the EU target of having 80% of homes fitted with a smart meter by 2020.

Our Progress in Sustainable Innovation

  • In the Republic of Ireland, 832 AC and 70 fast chargers have been installed and in Northern Ireland, 14 fast chargers and 350 Public AC charge points are in place. Approximately 1,900 charge points are in place island wide to end 2014.
  • ESB Vodafone joint venture will see delivery of 100% fibre-to-the-building network initially to 500,000 premises in 50 towns around the country.
  • ESB continues to purse opportunities in the low carbon energy services sector, including joint ventures and collaborative opportunities. ESB's clean tech venture capital fund, Novusmodus Fund, currently manages investments in nine companies in the clean tech sector.
  • ESB has installed a 25 KW solar PV demonstration project on ESB Networks premises at Leopardstown and continues to assess performance. ESB with strategic partner, Kingspan, has developed a funded solar PV offering for the Northern Ireland market initially.

Our Progress in ​Transforming our Cost Structure

  • 2014 delivered energy savings of 5.25% in building energy and 10% in fleet fuel over 2013.
  • All business units now operate under externally ISO14001 certified environmental management systems and use their environmental programme to drive improvements.
  • Recycling levels and diversion from landfill rates continue to be an area of focus across all business units, with recycling rates generally above 75% and diversion rates above 95%.
  • 39 meters are now installed in ESB Networks depots, which has driven a focus on reducing water usage.
  • The 2014 Public Sector energy efficiency performance reports ESB as having delivered 21% energy savings since baseline.

Our Progress in having an Engaged and Agile Organisation

  • At the Annual Sustainability Awards ESB ecars won the overall award for their International Green Electric Highway's project which was co-funded by the EU Ten-T agency.
  • The ESB Energy for Generations Fund dispersed €2 million in 2014 to charities and volunteers working in the area of educational support, suicide prevention and the alleviation of homelessness. In NIE, support of The Conservation Volunteers tree planting efforts continued in conjunction with local schools, hospitals and other volunteers, adding approximately three acres of trees.
  • Progress updates issue routinely via our six-monthly performance against objectives update and our Annual Sustainability report.
  • On-going rollout of sustainability workshops as part of the specification and pre-tender requirements process for tenders in excess of €5 million.