In an effort being repeated at airports around the world, Cork Airport has brilliantly demonstrated the possibility for organisations to reduce energy consumption year on year at very low cost, through energy management and low/no cost practices.

The result was significant cost and consumption reductions. This was achieved through increasing awareness, staff participation, training, management and operational control.

The first steps of this energy performance improvement programme involved the identification of significant energy users and key staff, followed by a series of challenging targets and objectives. Frequent meetings were held to review progress and encourage participants. The site was regularly inspected to monitor performance and identify further opportunities. Energy savings measures include:

• Implementation of monitoring to ensure energy use in the terminal building matched passenger and staff occupancy levels

• Training of key personnel on building management system

• Commissioning of greener variable-speed drive motors and reduction of fan speeds across air handling units

• Switching off the chilled water system for the winter period and the boilers in summer

• Optimisation of all air handling unit schedules to minimum requirements.

As the most significant energy user at Cork Airport, the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system is a key focus for energy savings. Improvements involved optimising operating settings as well as their timing, resulting in very significant savings.

Cork Airport has achieved savings of 33% (total energy consumption) resulting in considerable cost and CO2 reductions, without significant capital expenditure. Having improved operating efficiency so significantly, Cork Airport is now in a much better position to consider investment in energy efficient technology. For example, the airport will target road lighting, car-park lighting and airfield lighting in an effort to continue to reduce energy usage.