Minister for Education urges schools to help cut electricity bills

Savings of €1m on electricity could be made by centralising procurement

Thu, Jan 23, 2014, 13:11

Schools can cut their electricity costs by 10 to 15 per cent by doing no more than filling in a form allowing the Office of Government Procurement to cut better deals with electricity suppliers.

Pursuing centralised procurement of electricity in the 1,700 schools included in the scheme could deliver energy savings worth a combined €1 million, the Minister for Education and Skills Ruairí Quinn said earlier today.

Mr Quinn was visiting Inchicore National School in Dublin, one of the schools able to participate. The scheme is run jointly by the procurement office and his department.

It represented a “great opportunity” for schools to make savings, he said. The current economic situation had meant all schools were being asked to do more with less. “But through a very simple process of filling in and returning a form, schools will make large savings on energy costs and can use this money in other areas,” Mr Quinn said.

This programme runs separately to the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland energy savings drive called Energy in Education. Launched in 2012 it works in collaboration with the department using a web-based initiative to help schools reduce energy usage without having to spend extra money.

More than 260 schools have benefitted from the initiative, achieving average savings of between four and five per cent within the first three months of introducing changes. Some schools managed savings as high as 18 per cent, the department said.

Schools not included in the current round can still apply. More information can be found at and provides information about the Authority’s ongoing drive to help schools make energy savings and reduce costs.

The procurement office centralises the purchase of goods and services for the public service in an effort to make savings. It operates under the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform.

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