Energy Use

Acute healthcare facilities such as Cork University Hospital have very different energy profiles to other organisations. Hospitals are energy intensive buildings that run 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year. The two main sources of energy in Cork University Hospital are gas and electricity. The consumption of both sources contributes to CUH’s carbon footprint. 

CUH Energy Management 

Energy is top of the sustainability agenda at the hospital and the hospital is committed to meeting Ireland’s energy efficiency targets of cutting CO2 emissions by 30% by 2030

CUH is making energy savings through the delivery of its energy management programme. The programme aims to deliver energy savings through the on-site Energy Team as well as through investing in energy-efficient equipment and technologies.

The key objective of the Energy Team is to encourage engagement and improve energy efficiency at the hospital through minimisation of energy waste. The team consists of staff members from all departments who promote energy awareness to staff, shareholders, patients and visitors to the hospital.

The Optimising Power@Work energy saving campaign, which is run through the OPW, is now in its third year at the hospital with total energy savings of 9% achieved since the campaign started in November 2017. As part of this programme, the OPW organise awareness days, workshops, staff lectures, children colouring competitions, challenges (i.e. Carbon Clinic) and nation-wide competitions such as “The Big Switch Off” to encourage energy saving across the campus.

The Energy Team is supported by the Sustainability Officer, the Hospital Maintenance Team, the Estates Energy Officer, the OPW and SEAI.

If you would like to get involved with the site’s Energy Team or have any ideas to improve energy efficiency at the hospital please contact the CUH Sustainability Officer or your local Estates Energy Officer.

  • Ruaidhri De Barra
    CUH Sustainability Officer
    Former Nurses Home
    Cork University Hospital

  • Ruth Fennell
    Estates South Energy Officer
    Block 2
    St. Finbarr's Hospital

Do You Know!

  • Electric items on standby mode still consume approx. 30% of energy
  • Every time you open the refrigerator door, up to 30% of the cold air has the potential to escape. 


Tips for reducing energy consumption:

  • Turn off lights when sufficient daylight is present or when leaving the room
  • Turn off computer monitors, printers and other peripherals after use
  • Check energy rating when purchasing electrical equipment i.e. fridges, dishwashers (A is best)
  • Leave fridge door open for shortest period possible
  • Only operate dishwashers and washing machines when full
  • Ensure to only fill kettles to required level
  • Use the stairs rather than a lift
  • Disconnect unused equipment from the mains supply
  • Heaters, air conditioners, fans etc. should only be used when necessary
  • Keep radiators clear
  • Monitor thermostats or radiator valves to regulate office heating


Implement these measures to facilitate substantive reductions in energy consumption.