‘Take control’ of your energy bills: Dickson

Stewart Dickson MLA and Sinead O'Boyle of Bryson Energy promote the benefits of a warmer home.  INCT 44-724-CON
Stewart Dickson MLA and Sinead O'Boyle of Bryson Energy promote the benefits of a warmer home. INCT 44-724-CON
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East Antrim MLA Stewart Dickson has joined the Energy Saving Trust in encouraging householders to start taking control of their energy bills.

Urging residents across east Antrim to ‘shop around’ for their energy suppliers, Mr Dickson said: “The number of suppliers is growing and that alone should encourage greater competition which helps drive down prices.”

The Alliance representative highlighted some of the myths surrounding energy and control use:

- Turn the heating up when it’s cold outside. Half of us turn the thermostat up when it’s cold outside.

A home shouldn’t need this as the thermostat is there to maintain the home temperature whatever the weather.

- Turn up the thermostat to heat the room quicker. This does not help a room become warmer any quicker and only heats the home to a warmer temperature.

- Leave the heating on low constantly. Thirty-eight per cent of us think it is more energy efficient to leave the heating turned on at a low temperature constantly, rather than turn it on and off.

This means these homes are heated when no-one is there to benefit and then the home is too cold when people are in the home.

- Hot water runs out if you stop feeding the tank. Nearly a third of us leave the water heating on all the time to make sure they never run out of hot water, which could be costing far more on energy bills than necessary.

- Keep electric storage heaters on all the time. Few people with electric storage heaters fully understand how they work. This means that households with electric heating could be paying through the nose by not taking advantage of cheaper night-rate electricity.

Mr Dickson added: “If householders in the three councils that are coming together to make up Mid and East Antrim applied a sensible energy regime of turning down the thermostat in overheated rooms, they could save a collective veritable fortune of £8.44million and 25,800 tonnes of CO2 per year.”