What your organisation needs to report for thermal energy consumption in the M&R system.

What should be reported

For M&R, thermal energy refers to all solid, liquid and gaseous fuels used for non-transport purposes. This includes fossil and renewable fuels used in:

  • Boilers
  • Space and process heating systems
  • Catering
  • Fuel-based electricity generators (onsite)
  • Combined heat and power (CHP)
  • All plant, equipment and other non-road mobile vehicles

It also includes heat imported from district heating schemes and exported by the public body to district heating schemes. Don't include fuel your organisation supplies for consumption by other organisations.

Thermal energy types

Your organisation will likely report at least one of the thermal energy type listed below.

Natural gas

Natural gas is a naturally occurring fossil fuel that is composed mainly of methane. It is piped through the national gas transmission and distribution network directly to end users.

The easiest way to report your natural gas consumption is to enter and validate your GPRNs in the system. All you have to do is enter your meter numbers once and then validate them each year. The M&R system then automatically sources the natural gas consumption data directly from Gas Networks Ireland.

For the vast majority of organisations reporting, the best option is to enter and validate your GPRNs. If this is not possible for your organisation, you will need to self-report your natural gas consumption. 

Where it is not possible to enter and validate your GPRNs, you can self-report the balance of your organisation’s natural gas consumption. Be careful not to double count your consumption i.e. don't enter GPRNs and self-report for the same usage.

As consumption data derived from GPRNs is not available for 2001-2005, public bodies wishing to use this baseline must self-report consumption for this period. You can work out your consumption in one of the following ways.

Record meter readings

The best way to calculate your annual consumption is to record your own meter readings regularly, including at the beginning and end of each year.

Calculate consumption from bills

Alternatively, you can work out your annual consumption by adding up the kWh on all of your bills for the entire year:

  • Find the meter readings closest to the start of the year and the end of the year
  • Subtract the start of year reading from the end of year reading
  • Multiply the result by the meter multiplier to convert to kWh - this is usually 1.0 but is different for some meters (it is shown on your bills)
  • Divide the result obtained in step 3 by the number of days between the two meter reads and multiply by 365 to calculate the annual consumption for the year

You may also be able to access consumption data from an online energy bill tool provided by your natural gas supplier.

Heating oil

There are three broad categories of heating oil used in the public sector: kerosene, gasoil, and light, medium & heavy fuel oils. The vast majority of heating oil used by public bodies is either kerosene or gasoil.

Report the amount that you use in the relevant oil type field.

If you're not sure which category of heating oil you use, you can:

  • Check the wording on your fuel supply documentation
  • Ask your supplier
  • See if there are any identification markings or stickers on your tank
  • Check the colour of the fuel

Taking readings from a meter is the best way of determining your consumption. If you don’t have a meter, tanks can be dipped to calculate the quantity used over time.

Alternatively, you could estimate the consumption from your bills. Remember though that the billed quantities won’t necessarily match your consumption in a specific year because your tank could have different levels at the start and end of the year.

You should keep a record of oil deliveries over time. This will assist you to better understand how oil consumption changes on a monthly basis throughout the year and you will be able to make progressively better estimates of how much was consumed between deliveries.

Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG)

LPG is manufactured in oil refining, crude oil stabilisation and natural gas processing plants. It consists of propane and/or butane gases. It is typically used in boilers for space and water heating, and for cooking.

LPG is delivered in small cylinders or in bulk tankers. Report it in the M&R system under 'LPG'.

LPG is sold in litres for bulk tanks or by kilograms for small cylinders.

Bulk tanks

For LPG in bulk tanks, the best way to report LPG is by taking readings from the meter. If you don’t have a meter or sufficient meter readings you should estimate the consumption from your LPG bills. Remember that the billed quantities won’t necessarily match your consumption in a specific year because your tanks could have different levels at the start and end of the year.

You should keep a record of LPG deliveries overt time. This will assist you to better understand how LPG consumption changes on a monthly basis throughout the year and you will be able to make progressively better estimates of how much was consumed between deliveries.

Cylinders

The quantity of LPG stored in cylinders is written on the cylinders in kilograms. Invoices (bills) should also have this information. Multiplying this by the total number cylinders used will give you the total weight used in a year in kilograms.

Solid fuels

Solid fuel refers to various forms of solid material that can be burned to release energy (e.g. coal, peat, wood pellets).

The vast majority of solid fuels are sold in tonnes or, for smaller quantities, in kilograms. As solid fuels cannot be metered in the same way that liquids or gases can, you will almost certainly have to estimate your consumption over the year from your bills. Report the consumption under the relevant solid fuel type.

Small packages of solid fuels

Smaller quantities of fuels, such as coal, briquettes & wood pellets are usually purchased in packages. Both the packaging and the invoices should show the weight of fuel contained in each package. You should multiply the weight by the quantity purchased to work out the consumption.

Bulk purchase

If you purchase solid fuels in bulk then the invoices should show the tonnes delivered. If your organisation operates a weighbridge, this could be used to calculate delivered quantities of bulk fuels.

The billed quantities won’t necessarily match your consumption in a specific year because your stores could have different stock levels at the start and end of the year. You should keep a record of all deliveries overt time. This will assist you to better understand how solid fuel consumption changes on a monthly basis throughout the year. You will be able to make progressively better estimates of how much was consumed between deliveries.

Solid fuel - wood chips

Wood chips are a type of solid fuel. They are available in several different specifications. The key parameter in specifying wood chip supplies is the moisture content: the higher the moisture content, the less energy content per unit weight.

35% moisture content

The reporting tool can accommodate reported consumption for wood chips with 35% moisture content. These have an energy content of 3,700 kWh per tonne of wet chips. Report the consumed tonnage of these chips under ‘Wood Chips (35% moisture)'.

Other moisture content

If your wood chips have a higher or lower moisture content they will have a different energy content. Entering the consumed tonnage of these chips under ‘Wood Chips (35% moisture)’ would distort your overall energy figures when converted to kWh.

In this situation consumption should be recorded using the ‘Add Other Energy Type’ function. In order to do this, you will need to enter the number of tonnes of (wet) chips consumed and the ‘Conversion Factor (to kWh)’ for converting from wet tonnes to kilowatt hours (kWh).

If the sales documentation does not specify the moisture content, ask your wood chip supplier for details.

Converting from heat output measurements

If you consume wood chips in a boiler and measure the heat output via a heat meter, use the following data gathering approach:

  1. Determine the quantity of heat output from the boiler in the year. It is likely that the heat meter readings are in kWh; if not, then convert the data to kWh.
  2. Divide the total quantity of heat output from the boiler by the actual average thermal efficiency of the boiler during the year. This will give you the heat input in kWh.
  3. Divide the heat input in kWh by 3,229 kWh/tonne to calculate the quantity of wood chips (35% moisture) consumed in tonnes.
  4. Report this quantity of wood chips in tonnes as ‘Wood chips (35% moisture)’.

District heating

District heating refers to systems for distributing heat to multiple users through insulated pipes as hot water. The water is passed through heat exchangers to provide hot water and space heating in buildings.

The way you report district heating consumption depends on the configuration of the district heating network. The overall reporting principle is that the primary energy (e.g. gas, wood chips) and the distributed heat energy should not be double counted.

Self-contained district heating

If the district heating system only serves your own organisation, then report the energy consumed in the boiler and/or CHP plant in the normal way i.e. in the relevant subtotals for gas, oil, wood chips, etc. You should not report the heat energy distributed through the district heating system.

District heating - heat imported

If the district heating system is fed from heat sources (e.g. boilers / CHP units) that are not attributable to your public body, then you should report the heat imported by your organisation as ‘District Heating – Heat Imported’.

You should not report the primary energy consumption (i.e. gas, wood chips etc.) of the external heat generation facilities.

District heating - heat exported

If the district heating system part-serves heat customers that are not part of your organisation, then you should report the energy consumed in the boilers and/or CHP plants in the normal way. Include any heat exported to other organisations as ‘District Heating – Heat Exported’.

In most cases district heating supplies are metered through a ‘heat meter’. The amount of energy used should also be shown on your energy bill from the operator/owner of the scheme. This will normally be billed in kWh. If in doubt you should contact the operator of the system.

The energy consumption of an onsite boiler or CHP unit should be reported even if that plant is operated or owned by a private contractor.

Combined heat and power (CHP)

CHP uses a heat engine or power station to generate electricity and heat at the same time. For M&R, all of the fossil or renewable fuel consumed by the CHP unit is reportable.

CHP should be reported in the relevant thermal fuel fields e.g. if you have a biomass CHP, you should include its consumption in your biomass subtotal. You should report the MPRN for the facility where the CHP plant is located. The MPRN will probably not be specific to the CHP unit. Note that there is no need to explicitly report the amount of electricity or heat actually generated by the CHP plants.

Solar thermal systems

Solar thermal technology converts the sun's energy into useful heat energy.

If your organisation uses these systems and you can calculate how much energy they provide each year (many are unmetered), you can report this in the relevant field in kilowatt hours (kWh).

Further information

You do not explicitly report electricity consumption or heat output of heat pump systems. It is counted as part of your organisation’s overall electricity consumption. The system accounts for the efficiency benefits of heat pumps.

If you use waste for energy generation at one of your facilities, you should report this consumption using the ‘Add Other Energy Type’ function. Waste that is thermally treated or incinerated offsite should not be reported.

In the unlikely event that an energy type that your organisation uses is not included in the reporting template, you should use the ‘Add Other Energy Type’ option. You will be prompted to enter several items of data for this new energy type, including:

  • Name of the energy type
  • The reporting units
  • The conversion factor from the reporting units to kilowatt-hours (kWh) on a net calorific basis
  • The CO2 emission factor for the energy in kgCO2/kWh

The primary energy conversion factor – refer to the list of conversion factors for the standard energy types for factors for similar fuels. It is important that you enter the conversion factors in the correct units. Otherwise, your data could significantly distort your organisation’s apparent performance. You can then report your consumption in the normal way.