Energy audit course highlights focus on environmental governance

Energy audit course highlights focus on environmental governance

The Department of the Environment & Climate Change recently organised a five day intensive training course for 18 individuals at the Gibraltar University on energy auditing and management.

The course covered topics such as energy fundamentals and an understanding of heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC), chiller and boiler systems, renewable energies, economic analysis of energy savings opportunities, energy data analysis and how to write effective energy reports. It finished with a four hour open book exam

Delivered by Target Energy, the course was part sponsored by the European Social Fund (ESF). The ESF invests in people, with a focus on improving employment and education opportunities across the European Union.

The course also covered the basics of the energy management standard – known as ISO50001 –and how this standard can be implemented within an organisation.

The new Certified Energy Auditors will be registered with both the Association of Energy Engineers and the Gibraltar Government as accredited assessors.

Minister for the Environment and Climate Change, Dr John Cortes, said: “Energy awareness is now an essential part of good environmental governance at every level, in both the private and the public sectors.”

“Our responsibility towards the climate is generating new activity, including economic activity, and it is essential that we are trained to be able to maximise our involvement and keep to our international obligations. I am delighted that the Department is organising these important courses.”

The requirements apply to organisations that as at December 31, 2014, employed 250 or more people or had an annual turnover in excess of 50 million euro and an annual balance sheet total in excess of 43 million euro.

It could apply to not-for-profit bodies and any other non-public sector undertakings that are large enough to meet the requirements stated above.

A Certified Energy Audit involves calculating the total energy consumption, including energy consumed by buildings, industrial processes and transport. The auditor will then identify areas of significant energy consumption and suggest possible energy saving opportunities before preparing a report.

At present, there is no requirement for organisations to implement the recommendations. However, the Gibraltar Government said it “will be encouraging them to seriously consider doing so and will be looking at ways of providing incentives and assistance in this respect.”

Organisations must notify the Department of the Environment & Climate Change that they have complied.

Legislation, including sanctions, which will implement Article 8 of the Energy Efficiency Directive is currently being drafted by the Gibraltar Government and is likely to be based on the UK Energy Savings Opportunities Scheme.

At present there is no amount set for the penalty but the Government will be bearing in mind the fact that penalties for noncompliance are ‘effective, proportionate and dissuasive’. In the UK for instance, the fine for non-compliance can be up to £50,000.

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