In line with our Sustainability and Net Zero by 2040 strategies, we are implementing a range of measures to deliver energy and carbon savings across our building and fleet portfolios. From a 2008 baseline, we have reduced total energy consumption by 33% from 103GWh to 70GWh (total operational energy), whilst improving energy efficiency per Full Time Equivalent Employee by 50% and delivering a carbon saving on energy used of 55%.
Our plans for buildings and fleet to 2030 aim to deliver a further 50% reduction in carbon emissions from energy and a further 50% improvement in energy efficiency.
Beat the Peak
Most recently, we set out new measures as part of our commitment to the ESB Networks Beat the Peak Commercial Pledge Campaign. As part of this national initiative, ESB Networks is working with a range of companies, large and small, on the steps they can take to move their electricity consumption away from peak times.
It is our pledge to reduce our electricity use by 2,000,000 kWhr over winter 2022/23. That is the equivalent energy of boiling a 1.5l kettle 11.7 million times, running a washing machine 2.5 million times or driving 10 million kilometres in a standard electric vehicle.
To help achieve this, some of the ESB Facilities Management-led initiatives include:
Energy optimisation surveys at all locations
Powering down non-essential loads at peak times – for example, water heating or pumps
Powering down all non-essential lighting ahead of peak hours
Mobilising local energy/sustainability champions
Where possible, consolidating floor occupancy, powering down parts of buildings that are not being fully used, always ensuring alignment with our Smart Working arrangements
Building management system adjustments
Ongoing retrofit of LED lighting upgrades across multiple sites
Ongoing deep retrofits (Naas, Tralee, and other locations)
Recent Energy Savings Projects
This commitment follows several other measures that have been introduced and implemented in recent years. We have vacated, retrofitted, or demolished some of our older, less efficient buildings. For instance, in 2020 we moved our archive to a purpose built all-electric building - the first building of its kind in Ireland to adhere to the newest international standards for the conservation of cultural heritage. This year, we completed the refurbishment of Fitzwilliam 27. It is the first fossil fuel free large office building in use in Ireland. It is also one of the most energy efficient and sustainable commercial office developments in Dublin, aiming for near-zero energy consumption.
Small Changes, Big Difference
Other savings have come through the adoption of electric vans and forklifts, as well as fleet optimisation to maximise the efficiency of vehicle use. Most recently we have put electric hoists on trucks – so that it is no longer necessary to keep diesel engines running while using the hoists. Many of these are small, incremental improvements but each measure is important in supporting national energy efficiency targets, conserving energy, and achieving our net zero ambition.
Further energy saving measures are planned for 2023 and beyond which will further reduce ESB’s energy usage in the context of rising prices and energy security concerns including the installation of electric vehicle chargers in ESB Networks depots and the extension of the ISO50001 Energy Management System to additional premises.
Employees and Expertise
Employees are also being encouraged to play their part, both in the workplace and at home. By signing up to the Beat the Peak campaign, they receive customised information on an ongoing basis on how to shift their individual energy consumption away from the evening peak. They also receive requests to adjust their individual consumption during peak demand events, on days where there is a higher risk of an ‘Amber Alert’ (issued by EirGrid when generation available to meet demand is tight).
We also have a specialist business unit – ESB Smart Energy Services – that works with large energy users to dramatically reduce energy costs, carbon emissions and consumption. ESB has established a €75m fund to help such businesses with the up-front capital for energy-saving projects.
Together, we can all make a difference.