Irish Education Minister Jan O’Sullivan Launches eeef’s Technical Assistance project with Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board

Minister for Education and Skills, Jan O’Sullivan T.D. launched a new energy initiative “Lets Conserve Energy Together Better” with the Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board (LCETB) today, at an event held at the Limerick College of Further Education.

In developing this initiative, LCETB is cooperating with the European Commission European Energy Efficiency Fund's (eeef) Technical Assistance Facility. Through this collaboration, LCETB will be receiving funds to enable it to pursue this project. With a projected total investment in excess of €16.4 million, the new programme will lead the LCETB to become the first Education and Training Board (ETB) in Ireland to undertake such an energy initiative. It will be implemented across all LCETB schools, further education centres and administrative offices throughout counties Limerick and Clare with the primary objective of reducing overall electricity and thermal energy usage by over 50% per annum.

Speaking at the launch, Minister O’Sullivan said “I am delighted to be present to launch this innovative project. I warmly welcome the fact that LCETB is the first Irish Public Sector participant in the eeef TA programme.  Education has a pivotal role to play in meeting the Government’s 2020 energy reduction targets and I would hope that LCETB’s example will lead the way for other education bodies to follow suit.”

Also present at the launch were representatives of local authorities, national representative bodies such as the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (seai), local and national press but also a number of students from schools across Limerick and Clare as well as members from the LCETB schools’ green committees and winners of the recent Young Scientist exhibition, who were displaying their successful entries. 

Minister O’Sullivan in the course of her speech also spoke directly to the students stating: “I would also encourage the student and teacher members’ of the various Green Schools Committees here today to continue their great work in raising awareness of environmental issues and making our schools better places for both students and staff.”

George O’Callaghan, Chief Executive of LCETB said “We’re proud to be the first Education and Training Board (ETB) in Ireland to take on this challenge and we hope that our commitment and efforts will ensure that the Irish education sector plays a pivotal role in contributing to Ireland’s 2020 energy reduction targets. Our goal is to enhance the learning environment for students and instructors, by carrying out energy efficiency deep retrofit projects and installing renewable energy systems at appropriate sites. This initiative will benefit and empower local communities, create employment and promote a culture of awareness, efficiency and best practice for all LCETB stakeholders.”

To date the project has received technical assistance funding to undertake the first phase of work, the development phase, which is due for completion by the end of December 2016. This first phase includes among other works the completion of energy audits at all 49 LCETB sites in Clare and Limerick. Following on from the energy audits a register of opportunities will be developed for each site across the ETB in order to determine the programme plan for the project works.  This Technical Assistance will facilitate the development of 49 building retrofit projects as well as the instalment of renewable energy components. It is envisaged that contracts for the second phase will commence in January 2017, on average with estimated value ranges of between €500,000 and €1,000,000. The eeef is considering providing part of the funding for the overall investment programme of €16.4 million once the d phase is successfully completed, subject to the Fund’s investment appetite for this region and approval of its internal committees.    

Aramark Environmental Services, the environmental division of leading integrated services provider Aramark Ireland, has been appointed by LCETB as the Energy Service Provider to undertake the above programme of works.

David Collins, Head of Energy Services, Aramark Environmental Services said “We’re delighted to be working with the LCETB as they lead the way in energy reform in the education and training sector.  This programme will not only lead to environmental savings but also to economic savings and we will support them with our knowledge and expertise as they transition towards a more sustainable and energy efficient operation.”

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