As the problem of climate change becomes mainstreamed, the policy response has become more hardline and there has been an increase in environmental legislation. The government has recently introduced measures that will require public sector premises to audit their energy usage and to report on their progress made. Through the White Paper Ireland’s Transition to a Low Carbon Energy Future, the government has set a key target of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the energy sector by between 80% and 95%, compared to 1990 levels by 2050, and zero or below by 2100.
Government measures such as the introduction of the Building Energy Rating System (BER), which applied to business premises from 2008, and the phasing out of incandescent light bulbs are just some of the measures that will impact on the public sector. See below for a full list of regulations that will impact on the public sector. Rather than aiming for mere compliance with impending regulation, the public sector should try to act ahead of these regulations and aim for leadership and best practice.
- Energy Performance Building Directive EPBD – A key requirement of the EPBD is display of a Building Energy Rating (BER) for all new public service buildings over 1000m² from July 2008. The directive was applied to large existing public buildings from Jan 2009. It will demonstrate improvements in energy efficiency and conservation over time and will lead to transparency of energy performance.
- Lighting – CFL light bulbs have been introduced to in to all public bodies since the end of 2007, and local authorities now must ensure that street lighting and traffic lighting are energy efficient.
- Public sector organisation emissions targets – Every public service organisation is required to adopt emissions targets and to benchmark and report annually on their progress according to measures laid out in Ireland's Ireland’s Transition to a Low Carbon Energy Future.
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