Watts up with DCUs energy consumption

Certification Europe accredited DCU as being fully compliant with the International Energy Management Standard last Thursday.

DCU was certified following a week-long audit of its energy management system across all campuses.

DCU Estates Manager, Richard Kelly, called the certification “a massive achievement for DCU” and thanked staff and “well-engaged” students for their cooperation in reducing energy consumption.

The Estates Office undertook two major projects during the summer using €300,000 they secured from the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland. They replaced oil burners in the All Hallows campus with more energy-efficient gas ones. This has resulted in a 20 per cent decrease in bills there so far.

They also installed motion and daylight sensor lights in the Glasnevin campus multi-storey carpark. These lights operate at 20 per cent of their capacity and go up to 100 per cent when the sensors are activated. They also detect the amount of daylight in the car park to prevent unnecessary use of the lights.

DCU’s energy bills exceed €4 million every year, according to Sustainability DCU. Kelly said that investment in energy-saving initiatives will help to reduce these bills.

The Estates Office is committed to further improving energy management and plan to fit the Campus Residences with LED lights following their success in the car park, according to Kelly.

The Estates Office plans to implement an efficient control strategy for each of the buildings in All Hallows. They also hope to insulate the roof spaces and install internal secondary glazing in all windows on the 175-year-old campus.

The Public Sector Energy Efficiency Strategy set a target for public bodies to improve their energy efficiency by 33 per cent before 2020.

DCU’s energy efficiency rate currently stands at 32 per cent and Kelly said it “compares favourably” with other universities.

“We’re fully committed to continual improvement, so we want to try and better the 33 per cent target” Kelly said.

Bridget Fitzhenry

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