Galway County Council

How do we know this information?

Galway replied to our AIE and some follow-up questions under the EU Directive on environmental information.


County Galway like most Councils in Ireland has no plan for the energy transition.

On-site Renewables Galway County Council had no renewable energy installed on its premises to save money.

Own Investments Galway had no PV / wind farms of its own to generate cash to support front line services common in English County Councils. See West Suffolk

Efficiency Plan Surprisingly County Galway claimed not to have an energy efficiency plan but was preparing for one through its ‘CARO’. Nor did they have no system to record cumulative annualised savings against their €2 million energy budget. Even small Councils like Louth and Cavan are able to justify further money-saving investments as they are both can demonstrate annualised savings more than €300,000pa.

Rates Out of 9 renewable energy types County Galway could only identify windfarms paying rates in its area. These, along with rates from the National Grid provided 16% of Galway’s rates. A Western County ought to be doing better. The real figure is probably higher as there are issues with Council finance systems in the Republic which do not have ‘codes’ allowing them to ‘see’ data for most renewables. While there are no plans to fix the coding issues, see Donegal Council for solution and See link to how N.I. councils can ‘see’ all types of renewables.

Galway was the only County to come up with an approximately correct guess what its rates were from fossil fuel plants and the National Grid were. We had to do our own research here for 95% of Councils. See our research on this here  Tailte centrally calculated values.

Organised Plan It is very unlikely that County Galway’s senior management or finance teams know how significant a part energy plays overall in its rates, or that rates from renewables are forecast to grow six-fold over the next 15 years. The Council appears to have no plans to maximise the financial benefits to itself of the energy transition. The Council is likely unaware of the upcoming expansion of rates along with ‘green energy jobs’ forecasted to grow to 125,000 in the South and by 42,000 in the North by 2030. Energy will be the biggest percentage of most Councils rates by 2030. But only for those who plan ahead or get lucky like hapless Leitrim.

See the breakdown summary of the Council here:

Annual €
Rates Income from Renewable Energy Projects € 1,343,234.92
Income from Council’s own renewable energy nil
Cumulative annualised savings from energy savings campaign € None? !
Savings from the electrification of Council’s vehicle fleet nil
Rates Income from fossil fuel plants and gas networks € 717,165.66
Rates Income from grid infrastructure and related plant € 2,201,621
Total   € 4.2 million pa

Council’s Reply

We are currently crafting a request for the 22/23 Financial Year aimed at investigating their preparedness for the energy transition. It will be backed by professional Legal and Accounting advice and will be far more comprehensive. We have learnt a lot from this last exercise.

We will be using the European Directive on Environmental information. This mandates European public bodies to provide all environmental related information to be published to a fulsome extent, at no extra cost.

We will be going back to Galway with this new template. We will be publishing both the request and the answer from Council. We will be letting the Council know that their response will be published.

A PDF of the Council’s EU Directive response will be here soon.