Funding, Finance & Procurement

Public Sector procurement requirements


National legislation requires that the public sector “… fulfill an exemplary role with regard to energy efficiency…”, and “… fulfill their exemplary role through their use of … financial instruments for energy savings, and other energy services …”.

Energy efficient procurement practices and energy performance contracting are now part of programme for government and central to EU and national policy.

This legislation includes:

A framework for incorporating energy efficient practices into procurement has been set out by the Government for procuring:

Energy efficiency should be a key requirement for defining the need, evaluating options, designing, specifying, supplier selection, and tender evaluation.

Energy Supply
It is planned that public sector bodies procure energy supplies through the National Procurement Service (NPS) or use NPS templates/guidelines.
Energy equipment / vehicles

Purchasing energy efficient equipment and vehicles results in lower lifetime energy costs. This usually provides greater total lifetime savings, even if there is an additional capital cost associated with such equipment/vehicles.

To make purchasing easier, SEAI has developed the Triple E Product Register which is a list of ‘best in class’ energy efficient products and all PS bodies must procure certain types of equipment from the Triple E list.

Download document iconDownload the information sheet to find out more about Triple E and use the
sample text in your procurement documentation

Triple E product attributes:

  • Are 10-15% more energy efficient when compared with standard alternatives.
  • Have reduced energy running costs.
  • Produce less CO2 omissions.

Procuring against the register provides organisations with the assurance that they are purchasing a product of very high efficiency. The European Communities (Energy Efficient Public Procurement) Regulations S.I. 64 of 2011 obliges public bodies when purchasing or leasing products to only procure products that:

  • Are explicitly listed on the Triple E Register, or;
  • Satisfy the energy efficiency criteria published by SEAI for the relevant product categories.

Therefore all public sector tenders must include reference to Triple E compliance and suppliers must be able to demonstrate that their product is either on the register or complies with the relevant criteria.

Visit the Triple E Product Register

Suppliers of goods and services not covered under the Triple E register:

All suppliers to the public sector should be encouraged to propose more energy efficient/environmentally friendly variants of existing supplied items, and back this up with the relevant credentials.

For services, a simple change of service could be to try and ensure than cleaning takes place during office hours, if practical. This ensures that activities take place during core hours rather than extending the working day which would require additional use of lighting and heating.

Office and IT equipment:

Ensure that office IT equipment satisfies the EU Energy Star requirements. Amend purchasing guidelines accordingly.

Energy services – consultancy to bureau to full ESCO

Under S.I. 542 and the National Action Plan on Green Public Procurement public bodies are encouraged to avail of energy performance contracting (EPC), including energy services companies (ESCOs), where appropriate.

An ESCO is a provider that delivers energy services or other energy efficiency improvement measures in a customer's facilities. The payment for the services delivered is based either wholly or in part on the achievement of energy efficiency savings and on the meeting of other agreed performance criteria. Read more about ESCOs here.

A range of energy service options are available:

Energy Management Outsourcing options diagram

For further information see the Energy Management Outsourcing Options section of A brief guide to energy performance contracts and ESCOs.pdf (size 389.6 KB)

Capital projects

Public sector bodies should employ energy efficient design (EED) principles and ensure that energy efficiency is taken into account at each stage of the development of capital projects.

EED helps organisations design, construct and manage projects to achieve minimum energy consumption in use and during the project delivery. EED can also help reduce the capital cost of a project through design changes, e.g. the avoidance of air conditioning. For further information see Energy Efficient Design

For the purchase or leasing of a building, in accordance with S.I. No. 542 of 2009, a public body shall only purchase or lease a building, or a portion of a building, for its own use, where the building has a Building Energy Rating equal to or better than:

  • B3 (from January 2012).
  • A3 (from January 2015).

There are certain exemptions to this requirement, as detailed in SI 542.

Life cycle costing

Use life cycle costing to evaluate investment options. Life cycle costing is a key tool in obtaining value for money. For example, energy efficient products often have an increased capital cost that is more than offset by reduced operating costs.

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