2006 Sustainable Energy Awards

The Sustainable Energy Awards, now an All-Island initiative, are organised by SEI and sponsored by ESB Customer Supply. The awards aim to recognise excellence in energy management.

Despite the harsh reality of rising energy costs, companies in Ireland are now making notable strides in embracing a more sustainable approach to how they use energy and are, ultimately, achieving cost savings and improving their competitiveness as a result. This was the message delivered by David Taylor, Chief Executive Officer of Sustainable Energy Ireland (SEI), who was speaking at the third annual Sustainable Energy Awards at the Berkeley Court Hotel, in Dublin.

This year’s awards saw a significant increase in the number of SME’s participating, emphasising how organisations - regardless of size - can benefit from sustainable energy projects. Substantial savings are also possible from low-cost measures - including energy awareness campaigns - and the quality and number of such entries received, demonstrate that more companies are fully engaging their employees and benefiting accordingly.

Some of the nominated companies achieved savings in excess of 10% - merely through educating employees about the benefits of sustainable energy and changing behaviour accordingly.

Mr. Taylor added - “The number and quality of entries from SME’s is particularly encouraging. Many companies - both large and small - now realise that energy efficiency is an important issue for businesses' performance. Those companies involved in the Awards lead their field in sustainable energy and are reaping the benefits in competitiveness and contribution to the bottom line.“

L-R: Padraig McManus (Chief Executive, ESB); Noel Dempsey TD (Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources), David Taylor (CEO, SEI)

Guest of honour at the awards was Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources, Noel Dempsey TD.

Minister Dempsey said - “It is now a strategic priority to move our economy towards greater energy efficiency and a lower carbon and greenhouse gas emissions footprint.

"For business, that means doing what Irish companies do well – facing down the competitiveness challenge and taking proactive steps to ensure success and I am delighted to see so many companies here tonight rising to meet this challenge. ”

The Sustainable Energy Awards 2006 were sponored by ESB Customer Supply.

The organisation is committed to encouraging greater efficiency in the use of energy as one important part of protecting the environment for future generations. As part of this commitment, ESB Customer Supply has had in place an active program supporting the effective use of energy by customers since the 1990's - which enables businesses to get the best value for money from their electricity usage.

Padraig McManus, Chief Executive, ESB said - "ESB Customer Supply is delighted to be associated with the Sustainable Energy Awards 2006. Energy saving is the quickest, most efficient and most economic means of reducing usage and, thus, reducing energy costs. We all have a part to play in our national obligation to reduce emission levels.”

Mr. McManus confirmed ESB Customer Supply's continuing support for the Sustainable Energy Awards.

Thirteen awards in total were presented across seven categories - including renewable energy, energy management and energy awareness campaigns. This year, participating companies accounted for an annual energy expenditure in excess of €400 million and are achieving average energy savings of 7%, equating to €28 million per annum.

The seven categories included -

Category A: Coordinated Energy Management Programme
Category B: Electrical and/or Thermal Energy Project
Category C: Renewable Energy Project
Category D: Energy Awareness Campaign
Category E: Energy Service or Supply Company
Category F: Excellence in Building Design or Specification
Category G: Energy Manager of the Year

There were nine judges in total. Each judge was chosen for their extensive experience in the relevant category areas. Each category was reviewed by four judges and a consensus decision was arrived at. Finally, each selection was endorsed by the chairman of the judging panel, Professor Frank Convery. The judging panel included -

  • Prof. Frank Convery, Director, Environmental Studies, University College Dublin
  • Bob Hanna, Chief Technical Advisor (Energy), Dept. Communications, Marine & Natural Resources
  • Gerry Duggan, Chair, Energy & Environment Division, Engineers Ireland
  • Roeland Van Elsen MRIAI, Sustainability Task Force, Royal Institute of Architects in Ireland
  • Patrick Duke, Lecturer, Dept. of Applied Technology, Dublin Institute of Technology
  • Alan O’Hanlon, Electricity Programme Manager, SEI
  • Chris Hughes, Public Sector Programme Manager, SEI
  • Alan Ryan, Programme Manager, SEI
  • Graham Brennan, Renewable Energy Research Development & Demonstration Programme Manager, SEI.

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. This year, 154 nominations were received with a combined energy spend of €400 million per annum. 2006 is also the first year that entries from Northern Ireland were invited.

Compere for the evening was Mr. John Bowman and the after-dinner speaker was Karl Spain.


Awards Winners


Energy Service or Supply Company

The competition for energy-service or energy-supply is open to all companies that supply and/or maintain energy related equipment and services. The purpose of this award is to reward excellence in the provision of support for energy-efficient products and services and focuses on the supplier, rather than on a particular product.

The finalists in this category were -

  • Eirdata Environmental Service Ltd.
  • Fingleton White & Co.
  • Gerkros Heating Technology
  • PowerTherm Solutions Ltd. and White Young Green

For the design, construction and operation of major energy projects - including Combined, Heat & Power, delivering significant economic and environmental benefits - the Award for Energy Service or Supply Company went to Fingleton White & Company Ltd.

Fingleton White & Co. Ltd. is involved in the design, construction and operation of a range of infrastructural projects - e.g. a 16,000MW gas station, hydroelectric stations, wind farms, CHP facilities, waste to energy projects, effluent treatment facilities, water oil and gas pipelines, refrigeration systems, boiler houses, district heating and broadband communication networks.

L-R: Minister Noel Dempsey TD; John Melvin of Fingleton White & Company Ltd.

The company has developed 8 independent Build, Own, Operate and Maintain, energy & waste management facilities throughout Ireland - working in partnership with Irish industry to provide for their energy needs at reduced energy costs and related emissions. This service is carried out while ensuring customer satisfaction through regular feedback and communication on an ongoing basis.

Fingleton White & Co. Ltd. provides a range of value added services, such as energy studies, energy procurement, plant operation and energy costs saving scheme participation, which help customers minimise energy usage and so cut costs further.


Excellence in Design or Specification

The objective of this award is to underline the importance of getting things right from the start. The finalists were -

  • Karl Becker
  • Kildare County Council
  • Svendborg The Marina.

L-R: Minister Noel Dempsey TD; Mayor Fionnuala Dukes; Brian Swan, Kildare Co. Co.

For creating a flagship local authority building - incorporating natural ventilation, maximising natural daylight and the use of renewable energy systems - the award for Excellence in Design or Specification went to Kildare County Council.

Kildare County Council recently completed a new 12,500m˛ office and council chambers.

The project brief included a very strong environmental/sustainable agenda, with the aim of producing minimal waste and avoiding mechanical cooling where possible.

The bulk of the elevations for this building face East-West and a combination of strategies were used. The building is primarily naturally ventilated, uses exposed slab soffits and controlled glazing areas - together with shading to ensure that summertime conditions remain comfortable.

Night ventilation is required to maintain these conditions. This is achieved through high-level motorised window openings, controlled via Building Energy Management System to provide the night cooling.


Energy Awareness Campaign

For energy management to be really effective, it has to address three interconnected aspects:

  1. The technical solution
  2. The organisational aspect, such as procedures and systems - and
  3. the people element.

Energy Awareness Campaigns target the people element and, in a lot of situations, they have the biggest impact on energy consumption.

The finalists in this category were -

  • Health Services Executive - West
  • Merck Sharp and Dohme
  • Microsoft Ireland
  • University of Limerick
  • Wellman International.

This energy awareness campaign revolves around the ‘Save-A-Watt-Wednesday’ programme, when all employees are encouraged to reduce energy use in their working environment and to focus on energy – ‘turn it off, use it wisely, take it home’. The Energy Awareness Campaign award went to Merck Sharp and Dohme.

The vision of the CEO of Merck Sharp and Dohme (Ireland) is for the company to be the most competitive energy steward in the pharmaceutical industry by 2008. To achieve this target, a company-wide goal of reducing energy usage by 25% by the end of 2008 has been set.

L-R: Minister Noel Dempsey TD; Elizabeth Tobin & Kieran Lavelle, Merck Sharp and Dohme

As part of the comprehensive energy management system, which has been adopted to manage the energy reduction programme, they have engaged with staff through an energy awareness campaign which revolves around the ‘Save-A-Watt-Wednesday’ programme. All employees are encouraged to reduce energy use in their working environment and to focus on energy – ‘turn it off, use it wisely, take it home’.

Suggestions on energy saving opportunities are invited from staff as part of the programme, with over 100 suggestions received so far. This programme, in association with the larger Energy Management Programme, has achieved savings of over 9.8% in 2005 with projections for 2006 also very impressive.


Electrical and/or Thermal Energy Project

This category provides an opportunity to recognise the efforts of organisations that significantly reduced energy use through a single energy saving project. There are four equal winners in this category.

The finalists were -

  • ABB, Dundalk
  • Astellas
  • Carbery Group Ltd
  • DIT Cathal Brugha St
  • Donegal Creameries
  • Flancare Warehouse
  • Kerry County Council
  • Pfizer Loughbeg
  • Pfizer Little Island
  • Shamrock Foods
  • Town of Monaghan Co-Op
  • Wyeth Pharmaceuticals.

Minister Noel Dempsey TD; Anthony Gorham & Tony O'Reilly, ABB Dundalk

By implementing a comprehensive lighting upgrade, this company has demonstrated that small and medium businesses can also benefit from energy efficiency. The award for Electrical and/or Thermal Energy Project, Small Industry went to ABB Dundalk.

During 2005, ABB Ltd. Dundalk increased efforts to become more energy efficient in all aspects of their business. A visit from SEI to discuss the Dundalk Sustainable Energy Zone - and the company’s subsequent inclusion in this initiative - was the starting point for a greater interest in the whole area of energy efficiency.

ABB contacted their electricity supplier - ESB Customer Supply - to discuss and identify opportunities to deliver greater efficiency with the use of energy. As a result - and with help from ESB Customer Supply - the company arranged for - (i) Lighting audit and (ii) a total (comprehensive) electrical energy audit to help focus attention on areas that reduce energy consumption and emissions to best effect.

A total refit of lighting (which contributed 30% of total electrical load) has been completed. In addition, an existing air compressor (which contributed 22% of the total electrical load) has been replaced by a more efficient model, incorporating variable speed drive technology.


By conducting a comprehensive audit to identify and implement energy investment opportunities, this company from the food and drink sector will achieve significant annual savings. The award for Electrical and/or Thermal Energy Project, Large Industry went to Carbery Group Ltd.

Carbery is a major international food ingredients, flavours and cheese manufacturer, headquartered in Cork. The manufacturing facility is complex and incorporates the latest technology.
From the point of view of heating and cooling loads, individual audits on the various steam and refrigeration plant is insufficient to build a complete picture of energy use.

L-R: Minister Noel Dempsey TD; Roger Wormald, Carbery Group Ltd

For this reason, a thorough thermodynamic examination of all production processes was undertaken - with all heating and cooling processes integrated into a single heat exchanger network.

Through installation of a series of heat exchangers, pipe work and buffer tanks, it was then possible - by maximising regeneration across the whole site - to significantly reduce the use of all utilities, including steam, refrigeration and electricity. Though the capital costs of installation of the system were significant, the payback on the project was in the order of one year, delivering impressive ongoing savings for the site.


L-R: Minister Noel Dempsey TD; Paul Mc Dunphy, DIT Cathal Brugha Street

For the practical and innovative upgrade of a boiler plant room in public sector building, resulting in annual savings of 40% - the award for Electrical and/or Thermal Energy Project, Small Public Sector went to DIT Cathal Brugha St.

The existing boilers were inefficient and the domestic hot water heating system was insufficient for current requirements.
The controls consisted of burner time-clocks with pumps switched by hand and no isolation valves for the boilers. To improve the energy efficiency the boilers were replaced in 2004.

A Building energy management system was installed to improve plant monitoring and control. Annual savings of 40% for natural gas were measured and verified in 2005.

This project provides an ideal example of upgrading an old public sector plant room with a limited budget and building modification constraints. Total cost savings are €38,000 per year providing an excellent payback period of three years for this type of project.


For using the most up to date lighting technology, incorporating dynamic occupancy-sensing - thus establishing an impressive benchmark for future projects - the award for Electrical and/or Thermal Energy Project, Small Commercial went to Shamrock Foods.

Shamrock foods were challenged by senior management to achieve significant savings, thus establishing a benchmark building that could be replicated elsewhere. The company set about identifying an energy efficient lighting solution for their distribution depot. Given that the buildings are occupied by fast moving battery operated trucks, access was limited.

L-R: Minister Noel Dempsey TD; Michael Broderick, Shamrock Foods

Any choice of lighting retrofit technology was assessed against lamp and lumen longevity. The project consisted of the removal of 690 no. 400W metal halide high bay fittings and 431 twin 5ft. corrosive proof fittings. The new installation includes 388 no. Patina AS400 series fittings incorporating daylight sensing.

The company also used dynamic occupancy sensing - thus optimising the lighting energy efficiency profile. The project has since been used as a benchmark for all future site and lighting retrofit programmes.


Renewable Energy Project

This category provides an opportunity to recognise innovative examples of highly integrated renewable energy systems in small and medium enterprises and public sector buildings.

The finalists in this category were -

  • Dundalk Institute of Technology
  • Musgrave Group Ltd.
  • United Hospital Trust.

L-R: Minister Noel Dempsey TD; John Curran, Musgrave Group Ltd.

For an energy efficient office building - demonstrating that, with proper enlightened planning, it is possible to develop more sustainable buildings incorporating renewable energy systems - the award for Renewable Energy Project went to Musgrave Group Ltd.

In 2004, Musgrave began designing its new Group Head Office in Cork.

The new office building - with a floor area of 2000m˛ - was designed to house Musgrave head office staff, including Group Finance, IT, Commercial and Human Resources departments, along with Group Directors.

At an early stage, it was decided that - in keeping with the commitments contained in the Musgrave Group Environmental and Social Accountability Policy and Energy & Natural Resources Management Policy - the building should be as sustainable as practicable and incorporate both passive energy conservation measures and energy efficiency technology, as a means of minimising energy demand and, hence, emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases linked to climate change.

In addition, all supply and service contractors were to be made aware of the sustainability aims of the building and that both the equipment supplied and its installation works would need to have the lowest environmental impact.


Coordinated Energy Management Programme

Very often the challenge for organisations is to remain focused on effective energy management in the face of changing personnel and shifting priorities. This award recognises those firms that have taken a holistic approach to energy management and have integrated it into their overall business practices, touching on the key elements already identified - technical, organisational and people. There were three winners in this category - Commercial, Small Industrial and Large Industrial.

The finalists in this category were -

  • Aughinish Alumina Ltd.
  • Jurys Doyle Hotel Group
  • Lee Strand Co-Operative Creamery Ltd.
  • O'Callaghan Hotel
  • Pfizer Ireland, Little Island, Cork
  • Silverhill Foods.

These firms represent the very highest standard of energy management in the country and all deserve recognition for the quality of their work and commitment to sustainable energy practices.

By developing and implementing a tailored energy management programme, involving everybody within the organisation - which circulates a monthly league table showing the progress of each property - this company has achieved reduced electricity use by 20% in 2005. The award for Coordinated Energy Management Programme, Commercial Sector went to Jurys Doyle Hotel Group Ltd.

Jurys Ballsbridge Hotel and Towers achieved a 20% reduction in electricity consumption during 2005, through energy awareness and staff behavioural change. The five-star Jurys Ballsbridge Hotel and Towers is one of 34 properties in the Jurys Doyle Hotel Group plc.

L-R: Minister Noel Dempsey TD; Dan O'Connell, Jurys Doyle Hotel Group Ltd

The 35,000m˛ complex, located in Dublin, consists of two adjoining hotel blocks. The main hotel comprises 303 bedrooms, two restaurants, two bars and 14 function rooms, in addition to a ballroom/cabaret room which can seat up to 700 people.

Other facilities include a leisure centre with heated outdoor swimming pool, a business centre and a hair salon. The separate Towers building contains a further 100 bedrooms.


L-R: Minister Noel Dempsey TD; Denise Kelly & Stuart Steele, Silver Hill Foods

For establishing a structured approach to energy management, incorporating an active energy policy coordinated with the company’s quality management, environmental management, financial management and maintenance systems - the award for Coordinated Energy Management Programme, Small Industrial went to Silver Hill Foods.

Silver Hill Foods has examined energy related issues and catapulted them to the top of a list of priorities, fundamental to the successful operation of their organisation.

Through the establishment of the programme, the most outstanding factor was the level of commitment from all levels of the organisation.

The results and savings are impressive - but the success of the programme is in the sound organisational base which has been created. This reflects on a daily basis on the ground, where there are numerous suggestions from all staff on various ways to improve energy efficiency. These suggestions range from putting in 1 and 2MW wind turbines to run the plant to telling where lights are never turned off at night time. Everybody contributes in Silver Hill.


This company has successfully implemented 64 energy saving projects over the past 5 years - resulting in annual energy savings in electricity, natural gas and mains water consumption.
For their strategic approach to energy management - including commitment to achieving the Irish Energy Management Standard IS393 and ongoing participation in Energy Agreements - the award for Coordinated Energy Management Programme, Large Industrial went to Pfizer Ireland Pharmaceuticals, Little Island.

Pfizer Ireland Pharmaceuticals in Little Island has a very active energy team with commitment from plant leadership for the implementation of energy saving projects.

L-R: Minister Noel Dempsey TD; Martin O' Connor, Pfizer Ireland, Little Island
This stems from corporate guidelines on energy conservation policy. An energy master plan details proposed energy related activities for the next three years. This policy document is updated annually and provides the commitment from leadership and ensures employee support for the energy conservation programme.

The energy conservation programme is an ongoing effort with further projects identified and in progress. The projects are tracked on a live document - “Energy Savings Monitoring” - which details project description, energy, monitory and CO2 savings.

A comprehensive M&T; system is operational throughout the plant. This system has in excess of 70 meters covering electricity, natural gas, mains water, chilled water, nitrogen, compressed air and waste water. This is a key tool used in the day-to-day monitoring of the site's energy usage and facilitates monthly reports on consumption. The system also facilitates in the identification of energy initiatives.


Energy Achievement Award

This year the judges have introduced an additional award to recognise the achievement of an individual or organisation that makes an outstanding contribution in the arena of energy management.

L-R: Minister Noel Dempsey TD; Brendan Thorne, Aughinish Alumina Ltd.

This company is an excellent example of energy management in action. An active energy policy ensures that all employees appreciate the factors that influence energy use on this large site.

Energy use per unit output has consistently fallen since joining the Large Industry Energy Network facilitated by Sustainable Energy Ireland.
This company recently installed a 150 Mega Watt Combined Heat & Power System that delivers significant environmental and economic benefits.

The Special Energy Achievement Award went to Aughinish Alumina Ltd.

As Alumina refining is an energy intensive process - with energy being about 30% of operating costs in the sector - AAL decided to implement a formalised energy management system and, working closely with SEI, identified the Danish Energy Management Standard DS 2403 as the most appropriate system then available.

The system was installed and, in October 2004, AAL became the first plant outside Denmark certified as being compliant with the standard.

The system requires a review of existing energy usage, setting of challenging targets and the implementation of a program to achieve them. The targets are based on the equipment design and not on past performance. AAL estimate that work to-date has reduced steam usage by about 1.5% and a further 1.5% will be achieved when the program is complete.

The system also facilitated the resolution of other problems with energy usage - identifying areas where maintenance was required and so contributing to the overall energy efficiency of the site.

AAL now recognise the benefit the standard has given to the competitiveness of the site and, so, have continued to be audited on their compliance with the system on an ongoing basis.


Energy Manager of the Year

An energy manager’s role is to manage both the company’s current energy needs and its future energy strategy. He or she should be able to focus both on the technical aspects of their work and on issues of communication and involvement. All of the finalists in this category are at the peak of their profession and have demonstrated both excellence and passion in their work, resulting in significant savings for their respective organisations.

Finalists in this category were -

  • Kevin Geoghegan - Intel
  • Richard Smith - DIT Bolton Street
  • Dr Heather Thompson - Ballymena Borough Council.

For outstanding commitment to energy efficiency, for establishing and leading a successful energy management programme in a public sector organisation and participating in a national forum for energy management - the energy manager of the year award goes to Dr. Heather Thompson, Ballymena Borough Council.

Dr Heather Thompson has full operational responsibility for expenditure on energy by all Council properties and services in Ballymena Borough Council. Since appointment, she has introduced energy and emissions management systems.

L-R: Minister Noel Dempsey TD; Dr Heather Thompson, Ballymena Borough Council

This involves the design and implementation of a strategic programme of on-site energy and emissions auditing and profiling - including reviews of plant and equipment, on-going monitoring of energy use and improving staff awareness on energy issues.

Energy consumption for all fuels across all sites was reduced by 11%, compared to consumption prior to energy management implementation.



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