Energy efficiency in public sector buildings in Northern Ireland

As part of its climate change programme, the government aims to improve the energy performance of the buildings they occupy. This will also reduce the emission of greenhouse gases which are contributing to global warming, as well as reducing costs, thereby releasing resources for improved service provision.

Monitoring and improving energy efficiency in public sector buildings

The Department of Finance and Personnel may take such action as it thinks appropriate for the purpose of promoting the efficient use of energy by public bodies. This permissive power is set out in the Energy Efficiency (Northern Ireland) Order 1999.

The energy management in public sector buildings document published in May 2015 provides an overview of some of the key changes and practical steps that can be taken to improve energy efficiency in public sector buildings. It is aimed primarily at Northern Ireland Civil Service (NICS) departments, their agencies, non-departmental public bodies (NDPBs) and public corporations however, it will also be of use to other public sector bodies in Northern Ireland (NI).

Public sector energy reports

The department publishes yearly public sector energy reports which report on energy consumption and expenditure data of properties occupied by the NI public sector. 

Each year details of energy use and associated costs are requested from the above bodies in respect of each building they occupy. This information is analysed and the energy performance of each building compared with accepted standards. This process is known as benchmarking.

Central Energy Efficiency Fund

The Central Energy Efficiency Fund (CEEF) was established in 1993 to provide financial support through grants for energy (and later carbon dioxide) saving measures which could not be financed from within departmental budgets. The fund was later extended to the wider public sector estate in NI. The scheme was withdrawn in 2011. In total funding was offered to around 2,598 projects over the lifetime of the scheme.

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