The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland announced the winners of the 2021 SEAI Energy Awards during an online awards ceremony, which saw the top prize go to Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council (DLR) for Energy Team of the Year.
The dlr energy team collaborate across departments to achieve energy efficiency and carbon reduction across its own buildings, facilities, functions and services and the wider community. The Energy Team includes representatives of dlr’s significant energy users, including public lighting, fleet, and large buildings. dlr has improved its energy performance by 51% in 2020, compared to the baseline year of 2009, exceeding the public sector energy efficiency target of 33% energy efficiency savings by 2020. It continually improves its own energy efficiency through ISO 50001 Energy Management System and implementing energy projects. 75% of the public lighting in the county will be LED by the end of this year and the fleet includes 24 electric vehicles. Compared to the baseline, DLR’s carbon emissions in 2020 had reduced by 44%.
dlr have also secured funding through PROBONO with Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown as a lead city with a consortium of municipalities, solution providers and experts to execute Living Labs in interconnected Green Buildings and Neighbourhoods with partners across Europe. It is also part of the Horizon 2020 Project DeliveREE – Delivery of Renewable and Energy Efficiency project across the Dublin region with the other Dublin Local Authorities and Codema. Planned projects include retrofits of SEU buildings and 50 buildings for energy efficiency measures including LED lighting upgrades, heat pumps, and solar PV installations. Staff initiatives include an Energy Saving Staff Handbook, a Driver’s Handbook with eco-driving tips, an energy quiz, presentations, and training courses to raise awareness of the role we all play individually and collectively in reducing carbon.
There has been significant investment recently in staff resources and sustainable infrastructure, a greener environment, community engagement, and working with businesses & the community to encourage behavioural change. dlr is setting a national example and demonstrating continued leadership in improving pedestrian and cycling infrastructure, aimed at promoting and facilitating a dramatic and necessary shift to reduce carbon. There are seventeen Sustainable Energy Communities in the county registered with SEAI and dlr acts as ‘Lead Applicant’ to assist these SECs in preparing their Energy Master Plans. Public energy awareness initiatives include the popular annual ‘Home Energy Upgrade’ webinar and Home Energy Saving Kits available through libraries.
An Cathaoirleach Councillor Lettie McCarthy said, “Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council’s goal is to create sustainable and cost effective zero-carbon green towns and villages and act as an exemplar. We aim to show leadership and support to other sectors in addressing climate action across the County to 2030, 2050 and beyond.”