The Institute of Refrigeration Ireland sought and was granted a meeting with representatives of the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) over the summer months in relation to the following: (a) the Accelerated Capital Allowance scheme; (b) new legislation and government policy on Green Public Procurement; and (c) implementation of the provisions within the recast Energy Performance in Buildings Directive for Inspection of Air Conditioning.
We had a number of specific aims going into the meeting, namely:
Some of the key outcomes from the meeting are given below. The SEAI also agreed to participate in an industry briefing for IRI members in the coming months. As soon as the details are agreed, we will let our members know.
(a) ACA Scheme / Triple E Product Register
The IRI raised some concerns expressed by our members, including:
In response, we were told:
(b) Green Public Procurement
The SEAI confirmed that following a public consultation stage earlier this year, the new requirements for Green Public Procurement are now in place. They are supported by a Statutory Instrument (SI 151 of 2011) which amends and updates an earlier Statutory Instrument (SI 542 of 2009) on “energy end-use efficiency and energy services”.
According to the legislation, all public bodies must specify and purchase products that are included on the Triple E Product Register. To quote SI151 of 2011:
(1) a public body shall only procure equipment or vehicles which (a) are listed on the Register, or (b) satisfy the published SEAI energy efficiency criteria for the equipment…..concerned, and the public body shall specify this requirement in any documentation describing its procurement requirements.
We asked whether this meant that procurement officers simply have to “consider” these products and will be able to ignore them based on wide interpretation of Par (2) below, taken from the same piece of legislation:
(2) To ensure adequate competition in a public procurement process, paragraph (1) does not apply where, in the opinion of the public body concerned, there is, or is likely to be, an insufficient amount or number, as the case may be, of equipment or vehicles either listed on the Register or likely to satisfy the SEAI energy efficiency criteria.
The SEAI position is that this will be the exception rather than the rule. They see the change to public sector procurement as a key driver in the success of the Triple E Product Register and the wider adoption of energy efficient products, both in the public and private sector.
The SEAI sees Green Public Procurement as “very good public policy”. If Ireland is to pursue the “Smart Green Economy” we need the public sector to provide leadership in the adoption of green technology. This will increase the supply of energy efficient products and encourage the development of a good base of competent installers.
(c) EPBD Inspection of AC Systems
We reviewed briefly the history of the SEAI approach to this (see previous issues of IRI newsletter). The SEAI confirmed that given the changes in the recast Directive, the SEAI’s preference is to demonstrate to the European Commission that an informational campaign can achieve the same or better results than a mandatory inspection regime. They would like to be able to point to an existing register of competent companies and competent individuals as part of the informational campaign and they will engage with the IRI on this.
The IRI Council will discuss this matter at our next Council meeting. We would welcome any feedback from members.