Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Questions (115, 135, 494)

David Stanton


115. Deputy David Stanton asked the Minister for Health the strategies being developed by his Department to encourage and promote energy saving in premises owned or operated by his Department and the Health Service Executive; the targets in place to gauge the success of such strategies; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14902/14]

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David Stanton


135. Deputy David Stanton asked the Minister for Health the policy and practice of his Department regarding energy saving and efficiency in premises owned or operated by his Department and the Health Service Executive; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14901/14]

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Terence Flanagan


494. Deputy Terence Flanagan asked the Minister for Health the progress to date that has been made by the Health Service Executive in carrying out an audit of energy usage in its buildings; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14693/14]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 115, 135 and 494 together.

My Department is participating in the Office of Public Works (OPW) "Optimising Power @ Work" Scheme. The main focus of the scheme is to improve energy efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions through improved heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems and a staff awareness campaign to reduce energy consumption where possible. In the last two years, the main heating system was upgraded as was the Building Management System which provided more efficient generation and distribution of the heating. As a result, savings have been achieved in the heating and electricity consumption at my Department's offices in Hawkins House, notwithstanding the age of the building and the limitations arising from single glazed metal windows. The overall energy consumption has been reduced by 9% since the Scheme was introduced in 2007.

In regard to the Health Service Executive (HSE) I have been informed that in early 2013 the National Health Sustainability Office (NHSO) was established within the Estates Function of the HSE. All Sustainability related, including all energy, waste and water related projects, will now be channelled through the NHSO. The following strategies, which will include clearly identified targets and objectives, are currently being developed by the office:

- Health Energy Strategy: Currently being finalised

- National strategies for Clinical and Hazardous Waste, Domestic Waste, Water and Wastewater: To be developed in 2014

- National Health Sustainability Strategy: To be developed in 2014.

Since the NHSO's establishment a number of steps have been undertaken by the office to encourage and promote energy savings in premises. These include:

- Energy MAP Training: National training programme on energy management and capacity building run in conjunction with the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI). The attendance over the three-day programme equated to approximately 400 person days and included representation from the Voluntary Hospitals

- Geographical Survey: A survey involving 2,443 sites was carried out in 2013 to obtain key information necessary for national sustainability programmes- Statutory Obligation of S.I. 542: The geographic survey included the recording of MPRN electricity meters and GPRN gas meters numbers at each site which were reported and verified on the SEAI database. The HSE is now fully compliant with this Statutory obligation

- Energy Service Company (ESCo) Proposals: Phase 1 Exemplar Projects - The HSE is at the pre-qualification questionnaire (PQQ) stage with three ESCo proposals - installation of wood fuelled boilers to Roscommon General Hospital, Sacred Heart Hospital and Aras Attracta in Swinford, including a deep retrofit of Aras Attracta

- Office of Public Works (OPW) energy management programme: The HSE has piloted three sites; Oak House, Dr Steevens Hospital and Sir Patrick Duns. Tallaght Hospital and Galway University Hospital are also under consideration

- District Heating Proposal: There are two systems under review, Letterkenny and Kerry General Hospitals

- Energy Efficient Design Reviews: One project is now complete under this process and using the lessons learnt five more projects are in the programme.

The success of such strategies will be gauged in a number of ways including:

- Statutory and Regulatory compliance: Inform, monitor and audit with regard to the various Statutory and Regulatory compliance requirements

- ESCo Utilisation: Deliver the strategic programme of energy reduction through ESCo utilisation; with phase one being the Exemplar Projects programme and Phase 2 the introduction of the Sustainability Concession Programme

- Continuous Measurement Tool: Develop a continuous measurement tool for HSE implementation of sustainability measures in relation to: procurement, travel, facilities management, workforce, community engagement and buildings

- Contract Management: Manage energy, water and waste contracts corporately through a standard methodology and approach and introduce relevant energy, water and waste management related software and systems to ensure a standard and efficient approach

- Sustainability Management Concession Contract and the Corporate Sustainability Management Services: These key programmes of work, which have been identified as the main vehicles for developing and implementing the National Health Sustainability Strategy, will be progressed in 2014 and include the development of a fully integrated Sustainability Reporting System and Centralised Payment System (SRCPS) in anticipation of Directive 2012/27/EU of the European Parliament being transposed by June 2014 with mandatory compliance by December 2015.