Make small changes and reap energy savings

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east Antrim householders have been given energy-saving advice.

Gwyneth Compston, energy services project manager, Power NI, said: “Customers drain away an estimated £28m a year in electricity bills across Northern Ireland and perhaps aren’t as energy aware as they could be.

“The cold nights and power-sapping stand-by buttons on televisions and other electrical appliances all add up and can have a huge impact on your pocket. Making small changes will ensure that you reap the rewards and save money by becoming more energy wise.”

Boiler servicing, insulation and a range of energy saving products are just some of the small steps that are available from Power NI, all of which could significantly reduce your energy bills.

Nearly half of all the heat lost in an average home in Northern Ireland goes out through the roof space and walls. Fitting insulation or topping up your existing insulation is one of the simplest energy saving measures you can think about to help you save money on your energy bills. Insulating your loft could save you up to £150 per year, whilst cavity wall insulation could save up to £115 each year off your bills (source: Energy Saving Trust).

Gwyneth added: “For a limited time only, you could get a discount of up to £300 off the cost of insulating your home with Power NI. Additionally, smaller actions like turning down thermostats by only one degree could also save around £41 a year on heating costs.”

New Year Energy Checklist

• Check your home energy rating by taking a few minutes to complete the free online Home Energy Check (HEC) at www.powerni.co.uk/HEC - this will provide you with a personalised report on how to save energy in your home.

• By installing cavity wall and loft insulation through Power NI you could receive a massive £300 discount and save up to £265 off your energy bill.

• A regularly serviced boiler will make sure it is working at its best – not only is it safer, but it will help to extend the life of your boiler and improve the efficiency of your central heating system helping you save money on your energy bills. Heating accounts for almost 60 per cent of annual energy bills.

• Spread the cost of your electricity into smaller monthly payments and save up to £40 per annum by paying by monthly direct debit or up to £55 savings if you switch to online paperless billing.

• Look out for energy labels that show how efficient new appliances are. Buying an ‘A’ rated appliance, for example, costs around £35 less per year to run than ‘E’ rated ones.

• Invest in energy saving light bulbs. They use 80 per cent less electricity, last ten times longer and typically save around £3 per year.

• Don’t leave devices such as microwaves, TVs, mobile phone chargers or game consoles on standby – they can use up to £100 worth of electricity a year. Typical standby costs in the home; microwave, £9.38; cooker, £6.70; TV, £6.70; mobile phone charger, £8.04; washing machine, £2.68; computer, £13.41.