The government is pushing ahead with a plan to control temperatures in public buildings to reduce energy consumption in winter

The government is pushing ahead with plans for temperature controls in public buildings as part of plans to reduce energy consumption this winter.

The coalition will meet today to discuss the details of a new energy strategy that would significantly reduce Ireland’s energy consumption.

Environment Secretary Eamon Ryan is expected to deliver a memo to Taoiseach Micheál Martin and Tanáiste Leo Varadkar.

One of the tests is to keep the heat in buildings at a certain temperature in the coming months.

Government workers may also be asked not to spread out across different floors to heat specific areas rather than entire buildings.

For months, governments and energy experts have been pushing for “reduce your consumption”-style campaigns to promote energy efficiency, but “take shorter showers”-type appeals have met with derision.

But the lawsuits are gaining momentum now as countries introduce limits on air conditioning, introduce lights-out policies in public buildings, and lower heating ratings in other public spaces.

Something similar is being signaled here, and while details are yet to be announced, the government recognizes the need for the public sector to lead by example.

However, that still leaves the thorny issue of our largest power guzzling sector.

A move to reduce data centers would be popular, and while difficult from a policy perspective, some visible action may need to be taken.

It comes as the Climate Change Advisory Council has said, short-term measures like temperature controls must be implemented now to keep energy supplies going.

Chair Marie Donnelly said these measures could save between 20 and 30 per cent on heating bills this year.

“In the short term and given the crisis we are in at the moment, one of the things we have recommended is that people take action now to reduce heating bills for this winter,” she told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland.

“It’s going to be a difficult winter, unfortunately the cost of fossil fuels is rising every day and we need to take all the action we can.

“So what we are proposing is that the short-term measures that are actually low-cost but have a big impact, such as attic insulation, draft-tightness, maintaining your boiler and temperature controls, are done now and the paperwork involved is simplified.

“For example, a reduction on the purchase price instead of having to go through the process of online application payment and then refunding the payment.”

Ms Donnelly said discounted public transport fares should also be extended as this measure could save people money and reduce emissions.

She said cycling, walking, working from home and carpooling could reduce private car use and therefore emissions.

“One of our concerns is that Ireland is too dependent on imported fossil fuels. Fossil fuels are 67 percent of our emissions, they’re also costing us a lot of money right now and we have no control over that,” she said.

“The choice is to use our own energy, our own energy comes from the wind and the sun. We need to roll out more onshore wind, solar and indeed offshore wind.

“Our first priority is the expansion of public transport, bus services and other public transport infrastructure. And when they are there, when people have a choice, then you look at things like congestion charges.

“The congestion charge is about saving people money, of course it will also save the climate.”

https://www.independent.ie/news/environment/government-pushing-forward-with-plan-for-public-building-temperatures-to-be-controlled-to-reduce-winter-energy-use-41964476.html The government is pushing ahead with a plan to control temperatures in public buildings to reduce energy consumption in winter

Fry Electronics Team

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