SECURE partner Donegal County Council (Ireland) has recently presented its update on the project activities. Since May 2016, DCC has been working to improve the energy performance of its main office accommodation around the county.
One of the main outputs to highlight has been the installation of the an Intelligent heating control solution called 'Heatboss'. According to Paddy Mullen, Facilities Manager at Donegal County Council, in 2018 a target reduction of 4% was set for thermal heating fuel consumption in Carndonagh Public Services Centre. However, “the actual reduction, factoring in weather conditions, appears to be well ahead of this target”. The installation of the Heatboss system, which is an intelligent heating management system incorporating cloud based management software, remote access, wireless thermostats & valves has helped in achieving this target.
Mullen explains that Donegal County Council procured Control Specialists to upgrade the existing Building Management systems in the other Office accommodation into “a cloud-based system that is controlled from any web-enabled device, and to ensure each system is operating at its optimum and delivering the maximum possible building performance and energy efficiencies for the Council, as well as providing support to the Facilities Department in the use of the systems”.
Furthermore, in each of the Public Services Centres & County House, the Council has installed bespoke thermal insulation jackets in plant rooms. The main objective was to improve the energy efficiency of the boiler rooms in these buildings by reducing the heat loss through valves and pipework. This was replicated from a good energy practice from project partner, Derry City and Strabane District Council in Northern Ireland.
Among other outputs, Donegal County Council has installed energy efficient hand-dryers in the Public Service Centres and has improved energy efficiency of the street lighting. By the end of 2017, about 1,800 lights were upgraded to LED to increase energy savings and decrease energy consumption. In reference to the Public Services Centres, Council has installed LED lighting in Carndonagh Library and in the reception area of the Donegal Town PSC.
“All these measures, along with the LED lighting upgrades carried out, will have a significant impact on energy efficiency in the identified public buildings”, explains Facilities Manager.
Donegal County Council has delivered other actions to build a smarter energy community. For example, they delivered the 'Driver Awareness Campaign’ to promote greater awareness among their drivers of how they can improve energy performance in their fleet; they achieved ISO 50001 Energy Management System accreditation that confirms that the organisation understands where energy is being used within its systems and operations; they have organised and attended other local Energy Days and stakeholder groups and climate adaptation workshops.
Irish energy expertise
As the rest of the project partners, Donegal County Council has shared three good energy practices with the whole partnership:
- ANSWER or Agricultural Need for Sustainable Willow Effluent Recycling project
- Implementation of ISO 50001 Energy Management System, demonstrating a clear understanding of where energy is used in an organisation
- Street lighting retrofit with LED