As outlined in the section on ‘How business impacts on Climate Change’, for most companies, energy is the main area where a business impacts on climate change. It is therefore imperative that changes are made to the way in which energy is used within the business.

What to do

There are a number of ways in which you can reduce the impact your energy use is having on climate change:

  • Reduce the amount of energy you are using
  • Become more efficient with the energy that you must use
  • Procure your energy from a green supplier

In addition to reducing your impact on climate change, becoming more energy efficient will also make economical sense to your business.

How to do it

There are a number of programmes, campaigns and support services in place that can help you better manage you energy. The main body with responsibility for energy is the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland.

Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI)

The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) was established as Ireland’s national energy authority and its mission is to promote and assist the development of sustainable energy. This encompasses environmentally and economically sustainable production, supply and use of energy across all sectors of the economy. Its remit relates mainly to improving energy efficiency, advancing the development and competitive deployment of renewable sources of energy and CHP, and reducing the environmental impact of energy production and use, particularly in respect of greenhouse gas emissions.

SEAI supports businesses through advice and training programmes that boost the competitive edge of Irish companies and help increase profits. Tackling energy usage is a valuable way to reduce costs and enhance competitiveness, and has proven itself in many Irish companies who have seen significant gains.

SEAI have a number of programmes suitable for large industry and large commercial organisations. These include:

  • Energy Assessments - SEAI offers free assessments for firms analysing current energy use and immediate opportunities for savings, as well as advice on appropriate monitoring and management.
  • Large Industry Energy Network - The Large Industry Energy Network (LIEN) is a voluntary network, facilitated by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland, of companies working to maintain strong energy management and environmental protection practices. Companies that join the LIEN generally have an energy spend of €4 million plus. The main benefit of joining the LIEN is the facilitation of networking with like-minded organisations sharing best practice and new technology. Workshops and seminars are also organised throughout the year for LIEN members.
  • Energy Agreements Programme – The Energy Agreements Programme involves a commitment from companies to adopt the Irish Energy Management System IS393, which provides for continuous and sustained improvements in energy efficiency.
  • Energy Training – SEAI also provides a range of training courses. These courses provide introductions to good energy management, tailored for specific groups or sectors, with associated advice and support for participants.
  • Energy Awareness Material – SEAI provides a range of energy awareness information and material which can be used to develop an in-house energy awareness campaign.

See the range of services available to businesses from SEAI.

Energy Tips

  1. Check appliance ratings before purchasing. By purchasing “A” rated or ‘Energy Star’ appliances, your business can reduce its energy consumption and lower its emissions. See the Personal section for more details on energy ratings in Ireland.
  2. Introduce a sustainable procurement policy for energy appliances which requires that all newly purchased products have high energy efficiency.
  3. Enforce a company policy that requires computer users to place their computer on ‘energy saving mode’ and to switch off computer monitors if they are leaving the office for more than an hour and especially when they are leaving at night.
  4. Ensure that this policy applies to all IT equipment in the office, such as printers, scanners, and photocopiers.
  5. Suggest to your employees that they unplug their mobile phone chargers when not in use, as these drain energy even if a phone is not charging.
  6. Place signs on all light switches, reminding people to turn off the lights when the room is not in use. As a further step, you could install motion sensor lights in rooms, which turn off automatically if the room is not in use!
  7. Use energy efficient light bulbs (CFLs), rather than traditional incandescent lighting. From 31st August 2009, a Europe-wide ban on traditional 100 watt light bulbs was introduced in favour of CFLs.  Over the coming years, the 75 watt, 60 watt and 40 watt bulbs will be phased out. By upgrading now, you’ll save your business money through reduced energy consumption and will be ahead of the pack in complying with forthcoming laws.

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