Under the National Energy Efficency Action Plan (NEEAP) UCC, as a public body, have been tasked with improving its energy efficiency by 33% by the year 2020. Despite undergoing a significant increase in footprint since 2008 with the addition of buildings such as the Western Gateway Building, Tyndall National Institute, Mardyke Arena and Beaufort, UCC has achieved a 36.6% reduction in total primary energy requirement (TPER), reaching the 2020 target three years ahead of schedule.
UCC continually monitors its carbon footprint including scope 1, scope 2 and scope 3 emissions. Scope 3 emissions are those that are related to the goods and services that we procure and our commuting and business travel emissions. A project is being implemented to better understand these emissions and reduce/ mitigate them, while also looking at decarbonising our energy system and investing in more renewable technologies.
Our most up to date carbon calculation can be found here – https://reports.aashe.org/institutions/university-college-cork-national-university-of-ireland-cork-co-corcaigh/report/2018-07-20/OP/air-climate/OP-1/
In line with our ISO 50001 energy management system, electrical and natural gas consumption is reported on the College calendar year ( Oct – Sep). At the end of each year an energy review is conducted to identify the significant energy users (SEU’s) across UCC as well as the variables and people that can significantly impact them. The tables below show the electrical and natural gas SEU’s across the University that account for the majority of energy use.
The table below shows the annual electrical energy use (GWh/a) for the SEU’s since 2008/9
One can see the impact of the Western Gateway Building (WGB), which in its first full year consumed 1.2 GWh/annum but due to expansion and occupation is now the largest electrical energy user across UCC (with the exclusion of Tyndall National Institute and Mardyke Arena). Despite this the annual electrical consumption of UCC has decreased by 1.65 GWh/annum, the equivalent of the electrical energy to power over 350 homes for a year. Through energy efficiency upgrades and closer management of the building services as well as collaboration with the building managers, the majority of buildings have seen an annual reduction in its electrical consumption since 2008/9.
Natural Gas is used to generate electricity, steam and hotwater via our combined heat and power plants (CHPs) as well as heating the buildings through local boiler installations. The table below shows the annual natural gas use (GWh/a) for the SEU’s, where available, since 2008/9.
The University had seen a significant increase in gas consumption in April 2015. Up until then the gas consumption associated with our CHPs was managed by a third party who were contracted to install and operate the site CHPs. Through this contract model the third party supplied a portion of the electricity to the main campus, for which they charged, while the natural gas consumption was assigned to the third party. Since April 2015 the Building & Estates office have been managing the CHPs and tracking the natural gas consumption.
Removing the impact of the new CHP ownership arrangement, the University has seen a 31% reduction in natural gas consumption.