Surpassing Energy Targets through Efficient Public Buildings

project partners

As a local authority Cork County Council’s role is to develop Cork County in a sustainable and socially inclusive manner. As Irelands largest county (740,000 hectares) spending c. €700million per annum and with a growing population of c. 500,000, this will continue to be a major challenge for both staff and elected representatives.

Cork County Council (Ireland)

Cork County has 156 elected councillors; 48 members of County Council and 9 members for each of the 12 town councils.  So political input is strong and a close working relationship ensures quality services are provided by staff in partnership with elected members.

The area of County Cork is one-eight of the geographical area of the Republic of Ireland including seven occupied Islands and a road network of 12,000 km. 

The Organisation structure is broken into 3 divisional services and 9 Directorates/functions.  The primary responsibilities of the organisation include;

  • Providing potable water
  • Treating wastewater
  • Providing an adequate road network
  • Providing social housing
  • Care of the Environment
  • Forward and Strategic Planning

In terms of Energy Cork County Council have shown immense foresight beginning with the opening of Irelands first energy agency – Cork County Energy Agency in 1995 and supporting same ever since.  On the European front Cork County Council have been involved in 39 successful E.U energy related project to-date and will continue to be active in this area.  The organisation is also vice-president of Energy-Cities network.

Expectations from SERPENTE:

The SERPENTE Project offers an ideal opportunity for Cork County Council to continue our work in the public buildings sector following on from recent European projects in the sector.  At present public buildings account for 10% of Cork County Council’s energy use, which equates to excess of €1million /annum.  From previous work in this area it has been found that on average Cork County Council buildings use 181kwh/m2/annum.  Irish National targets dictate that the public sector must reduce our energy use by 33% to 2020 equating to an average usage of 122kwh/m2/annum amongst our public building stock.

While technical options are widely available for reducing energy use, it is believed that the first step needs to be creating awareness and behavioural change amongst building users, this can lead to savings of up to 15% without capital investment or technical solutions.  To-date awareness campaigns have proved to be of minimal success and so it is hoped that the SRPENTE project will allow resources to engage external experts to develop a campaign which will catch the attention of building users, leading to permanent change.  This campaign will be transferable and replicable for the benefit of the whole project and all project partners. 

Contacts for the Project:

  • Mr. Alex Grassick,
    Energy Section, Cork County Council, Spa House, Mallow, Co. Cork, Ireland
    send an email
    Tel: +353 22 43610, Mobile: +353 86 1743584, Fax: +353 22 43678
  • Mr. Brian Ahern,
    Energy Section, Cork County Council, Inniscarra, Co. Cork, Ireland
    send an email
    Tel.: +353 21 4532700, Mobile: +353 86 6038952, Fax: +353 21 4347118

other project partners