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As part of this years Reduce Your Use Campaign, Kilkenny County Council with support from South East Energy Agency achieved significant reductions in their energy use across council buildings between November 2023 to March 2024. South East Energy Agency Energy Engineer Johan Muller has been working closely with Council staff to help them exceed their energy and carbon emission reduction target for the campaign.


  • Thomastown Area Office: Achieved 11% energy reduction through staff behavioural changes.
  • Callan Area Office: Achieved 26% energy reduction with a mix of behavioural changes and a €9,000 investment (payback in 2 years).
  • Combined Achievement: They exceeded their target with a 24% average reduction in emissions!

The Reduce Your Use energy efficiency initiative provides a structured programme of energy saving activities that County Councils can use to help reach their Climate Action Plan targets. The Initiative is focused on taking action in the short term and on implementing measures that will set organisations on a pathway towards achieving their 2030 energy efficiency targets.

As part of this campaign, Kilkenny County Council have selected the Thomastown and Callan Area offices as two pilot buildings for the Reduce Your Use Campaign.

Callan Area Office Building

The Callan building was constructed in 1840 and  extended in 2000. The original building consists of 520 mm of solid stone walls wall with no  insulation. There is also basic attic insulation while all windows are single-glazed timber frame, the doors are of timber construction and the floor is solid con-create.

The extension has double glazed PVC windows and doors. The extension walls are assumed to be partly filled 300 mm cavity walls. The area office is equipped with a 70 kW Bongioanni T100/7 non-condensing combi boiler installed in 2000 with Kerosene as the fuel used. Based on its age, the operating efficiency may be as poor as 50%. The heating is provided in the building through radiators having TRVs. The key measures taken in the Callan building were a combination of  behavioural change with some minor investment that will improve energy efficiency. For example, replacing LED lights, resetting the timer on the oil burner i.e. reducing the hours of use.

Thomastown Area Office

The Thomastown building  is a more modern building that was constructed over thirty years ago. The building is of cavity wall construction with 130 m2 of usable floor area split over two floors. The building comprises a large open plan office, reception area, meeting room, toilets and storage room on the ground floor, with three large offices, canteen and two bathrooms on the first floor. The build is occupied to the normal 9 – 5 operation with the standard holiday and public holidays.

Unlike the Callan building which has received some investment to address energy efficiency, the key focus in the Thomastown building was solely on staff behavioural change. In other words they wanted to see what they could achieve in reducing energy use by behavioural change alone. Examples of efforts included putting timers on heaters, turning of radiators in rooms that were not in use, turning off lights and appliances and putting a timer on lights surrounding the building.

Watch this short video from Kilkenny County Council which documents their actions as part of the Reduce Your Use Campaign