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Hawkins House is due to be demolished and rebuilt, with the Department of Health being permanently relocated to the former Bank of Ireland headquarters on Lower Baggot Street. The relocation is due to begin in the first half of next year.
A Department spokesperson told the Medical Independent (MI) that €167,846 was spent on electricity last year. Since 2012, when €148,484 was spent on electricity at Hawkins House, there has been a steady increase to €159,936 in 2013 and €160,289 in 2014. The spokesperson said the Department does not have a monthly breakdown for these years.
In 2014, then Minister for Health Dr James Reilly outlined how, in the previous two years, the main heating system was upgraded, as was the Building Management System, providing “more efficient generation and distribution of the heating”.
“As a result, savings have been achieved in the heating and electricity consumption at my Department’s offices in Hawkins House, notwithstanding the age of the building and the limitations arising from single-glazed metal windows,” Dr Reilly had stated.
Current electricity costs are lower than they were, when former Minister for Health Mary Harney told the Dáil in 2010 that her Department spent €192,000 on electricity at Hawkins House for 2009.
MI reported in June that Department of Health staff will share their new Lower Baggot Street premises with the Department of Children and Youth Affairs and one other as yet undisclosed Department, this newspaper has been told.
The Irish Times recently reported that biopharmaceutical company Shire may also take up residence at the former bank HQ.
The OPW would not confirm to MI the cost of rent at the new premises.