Drop Down Menu

OPW's fuel choice in Buncrana criticised 14.01.08

AN INISHOWEN councillor has hit out at news that Government buildings under construction in Buncrana are to be heated exclusively by oil.
Cllr. Padraig MacLochlainn was alerted to the situation by a local company providing environmentally-friendly wood chip fuels.
Ecowood Energy Systems made enquiries with the Office of Public Works (OPW) about the heating system. The company supplies woodchip fuel and heating systems to major premises in the public and private sector including the new IKEA store in Belfast and the new Letterkenny Regional Sports Centre, said the Sinn Féin councillor.
"It is absolutely astonishing that, at a time when issues like global warming, peak oil and the Kyoto principles dominate news across the world, our Government, that for the first time ever includes the Green Party, continues to allow major Government buildings to be heated by oil fired systems," said the Buncrana-based town and county councillor. "It really is time that the Government practiced what they preach on the environment."
He said choosing an eco-friendly biomass system would also be cheaper for
Cllr. Padraig MacLochlainn.
the taxpayer.
"Woodchip-fuelled systems save up to 50% on heating costs. Imagine how much money would be saved every year if this new building and every other Government building such as hospitals, schools and council offices in Donegal and across the country changed from oil to woodchip. It has to run into millions of euro every year," he said.
He said the Government must "take the lead" regarding eco-friendly heating solutions.
"Whether Ecowood Energy Systems get the contract for woodchip fuel supply to the new Government buildings in Buncrana or not, is an issue for an open tender process but the Government must take the lead on this and remedy this clear policy anomaly of grant-aiding homeowners and businesses to take the green option while on the other hand, using oil heating for Government buildings.
"I will be lobbying the Green Party leader, Minister for the Environment, John Gormley, in particular, on this issue. If we are to meet our obligations under the Kyoto accord and protect future generations, we need to move away from our dependence on oil," he added.
Return to > News