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 34.4% reduction of its total primary energy requirements (TPER), compared to a baseline of 2006-2008.
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.
Following on from the successful running of a pilot project in 2014 the saver saves scheme was launched in 2016 across a number of schools. Under the scheme, schools which sign up are assigned 100% of the energy budget for the building. With technical and campaign support from the estates office, the school sets about investigating opportunities for energy conservation and savings, implementing changes in how the building support services operate as well as running energy conservation programs across the buildings. All savings made are kept by the school to reinvest in the buildings. While the scheme is in its infancy we have seen some really positive results in participating buildings.
The Boole Library, which accounts for 8.6% of UCC’s energy consumption, has seen a 7% reduction in its annual consumption. Savings were achieved through closer management of its significant energy users, reduction of lighting levels across the summer and other minor changes. In September 2017 the savings were reinvested to install an air barrier at the main entrance to reduce the impact of draughts and cold air flows, improving the building comfort levels as well as saving energy. Due to the success of the program in the Boole, the Library staff have implemented an environmental campaign, love our library, with the aim of keeping the Boole clean and green.
The Pharmacy building, which was part of the pilot project, has achieved annual savings, despite an increase in its utilisation of lab spaces. Savings have been reinvested in lighting upgrades and installation of more energy efficient equipment for lab services.
The Glucksman Gallery has seen a 32% reduction in its annual energy use by closer management of its significant energy users. Savings by the Gallery have been reinvested in replacing existing exhibition lighting with more efficient and reliable LED lighting.
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