Rising energy use in buildings contributed to an increase of 1.5% in overall energy demand in 2008, despite the economy contracting by 3% over the same period, a new report from Sustainable Energy Ireland (SEI) reveals today.
"Energy in Ireland 1990-2008" shows that increased energy for heating as a result of weather patterns in 2008 led to an 8.8% increase in energy use by householders in 2008.
This was mirrored by a 7% increase in energy use in the commercial and public services sector, according to the report.
The report also revealed that energy use linked to economic activity declined in 2008 in line with the economic slowdown, with a 5.4% fall in energy use in industry and a first time fall of 1.3% in transport in 2008 mainly due to a decline in freight transport.
Launching the report, SEI chief executive Professor Owen Lewis said: "Improving the energy performance of our buildings remains a key priority and the Government’s recent Budget support for energy retrofits and upgrades will greatly aid this in 2010 and beyond.”
“The report also demonstrates the clear effects of the economic crisis of 2008," Professor Lewis added.
"It is critical that the return to economic growth is not matched by a corresponding growth in energy demand. The two must be fundamentally decoupled so that Ireland’s future economic successes are not undermined by unsustainable energy use.”