Tenants advised on simple tasks to save energy costs

With the arrival of colder weather, the Housing Executive has advised householders in East Antrim to carry out simple tasks to keep their homes warmer and reduce their energy bills.

A poorly insulated home costs money. You can reduce your fuel bills by carrying out the following measures:

• Top up the loft insulation to a depth of 27 cms

• Lagging the hot water cylinder and pipes in the roofspace

• Install cavity wall insulation

• Install heating controls

• Use condensing boilers where possible or a high efficiency boiler

If you are a private tenant or an owner occupier you may be entitled to a grant to carry out some of these measures. Those owner occupiers who do not qualify for a grant can apply for various cashback schemes to meet the costs of some of these measures.

Further information on grants/cashbacks and free energy advice is available through the Energy Saving Trust Advice Centre on 0800 512012.

Noel Rice, Energy Efficiency Manager in the Housing Executive said,

“There are some basic but effective steps that can be taken to keep warm this winter and also reduce heating and electricity bills. These cost very little to do. Being energy efficient is not only good for the environment but it is also good for your purse. Making small changes to your lifestyle and being aware of how to make these savings can make a huge difference to your carbon footprint.”

Simple tips that cost very little or nothing are:

Throughout your home...

• Close curtains at night to keep in the heat

• Keep internal doors closed to reduce draughts and don’t block the radiators with furniture

• Never leave hot water running

• Turn off unnecessary lights

• Electrical appliances on standby could be costing you up to £100 per year – turn them off!

• Fit low energy light bulbs – they use around one fifth of the electricity of a normal bulb.

• Fit shelves above radiators to deflect heat into the middle of the room

• Draught proof letter boxes and gaps at floor boards

And in the kitchen…….

• Only use the amount of water you need when boiling the kettle (cover the element of an electric kettle)

• Use a toaster rather than the grill

• Wait until you have a full load before using washing machines, tumble driers or dishwashers

• Defrost fridges and freezers regularly

And finally …..

• Use the shower if you have one, rather than the bath (electric showers which heat water instantaneously are very expensive to run and should be used with care)

• Never leave mobile phones on charge overnight and

• Make sure your computer equipment is completely switched off and plugs out

For more information on energy saving visit www.nidirect.gov.uk/energywise

Or freephone the energy saving Trust 0800 512012