Members of the Large Industry Energy Network, which combined account for 11 percent of the country’s primary energy requirement, made the energy efficiency gains and cost savings.

Carbon dioxide savings of 430,000 tonnes, the equivalent of taking 100,000 cars of the roads were made as a result of the seven percent gain in energy efficiency.

Minister for communications, energy and natural resources Eamon Ryan said: “In the coming years, every business, no matter what size, will need to use energy more intelligently. The fact that the network is expanding reflects a growing realisation by the business community of this.”

SEI noted that 80 of the 120 companies are working towards achieving the Irish Energy Management Standard IS393.

Earlier this year, environment minister John Gormley claimed that carbon dioxide emissions dropped by one per cent last year.

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