Energy Use (AQO)

stormont_reduce_energyNorthern Ireland Assembly, 12 October 2010

I ask the Assembly Commission what measures it has introduced to reduce energy use in each of the last three years and how effective these measures have been. (AQO 298/11)

Sean Neeson (Alliance)

In 2009, a detailed review of energy consumption over the past four years, covering 2006-07, 2007-08, 2008-09 and 2009-2010, was undertaken in order to establish the total energy consumption, energy costs and CO2 emissions of Parliament Buildings. The data was then used to help to identify measures to reduce energy consumption, such as increasing awareness of energy conservation among staff and Members, the replacement of inefficient equipment and fittings, and the completion of specialised energy surveys to identify further opportunities to reduce energy consumption.

Since the introduction of energy conservation measures, namely the energy awareness campaign in 2009-2010, total energy consumption decreased by 3·5%, energy costs by 31% and CO2 emissions by 4% compared to 2008-09 baseline levels. The reductions in energy costs are predominantly due to reductions in wholesale energy prices. The installation of an effective monitoring and targeting system to reduce unnecessary consumption, the replacement of inefficient equipment, and structured, formal staff awareness campaigns are expected to reduce energy consumption by a further 5% to 10% over the next three years.

Brian Wilson (Green)

I thank Mr Neeson for his response. In 2008, we discussed the possibility of achieving carbon neutrality in the Assembly, and, during the debate, a target to make the Stormont estate carbon neutral by 2015 was referred to. Are we going to reach that target?

Sean Neeson (Alliance)

I thank Mr Wilson for his question. I agree that it is important that we meet major targets on carbon emissions.

However, I remind the Member that the Stormont estate is largely controlled by the Department of Finance and Personnel. The Assembly Commission recognises its responsibility to reduce carbon emissions inParliament Buildings as far as is possible and will continue to improve as time progresses.

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