E3 Energy Efficiency Update
College achieves 7.2% reduction in energy use in 8 buildings, reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 462 tonnes.
Over the last 3 years Trinity College has being working on an energy reduction project in collaboration with University College Dublin, Dublin Institute of Technology and Dublin City University. The project, called e3, was part funded by Sustainable Energy Ireland (SEI) and involved analysing energy consumption, identifying opportunities for savings and implementing change. e3’s goal was an overall energy reduction of 10% and, within College, the buildings targeted were IAMS, Arts Building, Ussher Library, O’Reilly Building, Hamilton Building, Biotechnology Building, East End 4 & 5 and Aras An Phiarsaigh.
The final outcome of the project was just announced with an overall reduction in energy consumption of 10.7% in the 3 year period just ended in December 2006. I am pleased to note that within the overall result, Trinity College reduced energy consumption by 7.2% (in the participating buildings). This resulted in a greenhouse gas reduction of 462 tonnes, and cost savings of almost €100,000 per annum. This is a great result which was achieved by the input of a large number of people contributing to the overall process. The initiative also demonstrated that it is possible to achieve greater savings: we are planning to commence a second phase of e3 for 2007 to 2009 in collaboration with the same group of colleges. This will identify a similar number of buildings and target a 10% reduction as well as maintaining existing savings within the phase 1 group of buildings.
Much of the savings were and will be achieved by improved control of central plant such as boilers, ventilation equipment and cooling. Significantly though, much of College consumption is directly used by individuals with equipment that is not possible or economical to control centrally. You can contribute to the energy saving process by being conscious of very simple “energy housekeeping”. Always turn off office or laboratory equipment when not in use. Lights in offices, labs or workshops should always be turned off when un-occupied. At the end of every working day all non 24 hour equipment should be turned off
The e3 project has a web site which provides access to the real-time energy performance of the participating buildings. You can find it at www.e3.ie: feel free to log on to see what your building is consuming now, at night, and each month. We plan to develop this web site to include the buildings that will participate in phase 2 and also other refinements to provide more information. I also recommend a web site called the “Power of One” (www.powerofone.ie) which gives guidance on very simple energy conservation and waste reduction measures that are equally applicable in the work place or home.
Significantly for the year 2007, Trinity College is sourcing the majority of its main electricity from Airtricity. Airtricity generates electricity from wind power and offers a renewable electricity supply. All 4 colleges will be using this for 2007. Like all large energy suppliers the tariff structure encourages the customer to keep as small as possible the maximum amount of electricity used at any particular time – the “maximum demand”. For College this maximum occurs from about midday to early afternoon. The tariff structure also encourages the minimisation of electricity consumption during the period 5 pm to 7 pm during the winter months (November to February inclusive). I ask that all staff and students reduce electricity consumption during these periods by turning off unnecessary equipment, heating or lights.
Finally, my thanks to all those who assisted in achieving the energy reduction in the last 3 years. For 2007 to 2009 I look forward to working with as many colleagues as possibly identifying ways we can reduce energy consumption within College buildings.
Kieron McGovern, Engineering Services Manager, Director of Buildings Office, West Chapel, Trinity College, Dublin 2