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Energy Management Strategy and Action Plan to 2030

for Northern Ireland Central Government

Central government is the largest aggregated energy consumer in Northern Ireland.  This Energy Management Strategy and Action Plan offers the opportunity to provide leadership on energy efficiency, improve decarbonisation efforts and drive downward pressure on costs for Government.

Project Description

This Energy Management Strategy and Action Plan for NI Central Government aims to support and significantly accelerate actions to maximise exploitation of energy efficiency opportunities in both current and future assets and work towards improved governance, accountability, strategic management and reporting arrangements for sustained longer-term success.

It is the result of an intense period of work with Departments and their Arm’s Length Bodies (ALBs), covering 3,051 publicly occupied assets.  The EMS is inward-facing, therefore all Departments, and ALBs are within the scope of the strategy.

As part of the 2016/17 Asset Management Strategy Action Plan, SIB reviewed energy management opportunities across public assets in order to reduce demand and costs, generate revenue and provide this road map for delivery of energy and cost savings.

Two key objectives will determine the success of this Strategy and Action Plan, namely:

  • Establishing effective energy management processes that unlock value; and
  • Lowering net energy consumption by 30% by 2030 across Government (from a 2016/17 baseline year).

Progress against this 30% target will be assessed annually and will be informed by robust consumption data. 

Recommendations include:

  1. Ensure that ownership for strategic energy management across the estate is aligned with wider energy policy responsibilities.
  2. Adopt a net energy consumption reduction target of 30% by 2030.
  3. Establish an Energy Management Unit (EMU) to help Departments develop potential energy-saving opportunities, and maximise energy efficiency skills and measures across Government.
  4. Mandate annual reporting of energy consumption against a 30% reduction target to the NICS Board and/or NI Executive
  5. Develop a pipeline of energy reduction projects
  6. Create an Energy Invest to Save Fund.
  7. Develop better energy buying.
  8. Work in collaboration with relevant partners to ensure building standards contribute to the 30% energy consumption reduction target.

Between 2018 and 2022 SIB worked closely with the Department for the Economy (DfE), who are the sponsor Department for the Energy Management Strategy and Action Plan for NI Central Government to 2030. Throughout this period the SIB communications team provided advice and support to the project.

Project Status

The Strategy was approved by the NICS board in January 2019 and formally launched in June 2019. The Strategy is now in implementation and delivery phase with the second Annual Report submitted to DfE in August 2021.

SIB Involvement

In 2022/23 SIB will provide an Energy Technical Specialist as well as ad-hoc Associate support in areas of data analytics and procurement.

Over the course of 2022/23 delivery of the Strategy will be fully embedded and mainstreamed within DfE, with SIB support concluding on 1st April 2023.

Download the Strategy

Energy Management Strategy March 2019 (3MB – PDF)