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Blog Post 1 February 2021

Celebrating 20 years of Energy Saving Week in Northern Ireland

Today, Monday 1 February 2021, sees the launch of Energy Saving Week in Northern Ireland. Now in its 20th year, the week-long event looks to shine a spotlight on the importance of energy efficiency at home to reduce carbon emissions and make savings on energy bills.

Energy Saving Week in Northern Ireland began 20 years ago as a way of addressing the emerging global climate emergency. Since then, we have provided a range of resources, challenges and toolkits to make significant savings in energy and carbon.

There are now more than 1.8 million people living in Northern Ireland. However, unlike the rest of the UK, many homes in the country are not connected to the gas network and there is a high reliance on oil as a heating fuel. And with far fewer energy suppliers, it’s often not possible to save a lot of money by switching, making it even more important to use energy efficiently.

Make a positive change

Throughout Energy Saving Week, we’ll be highlighting different ways for you to save money and energy at home. Some are behavioural changes, such as turning your appliances off standby, while others are technological – installing a room thermostat, programmer and thermostatic radiator valves and using them effectively, for example, could save you around £85 a year on your energy bills.

No matter how much time you have to spare, we have the tools and resources to help you to make positive change. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook to get our daily tips. And for more help in saving energy and money, check out our website.

Energy saving school heroes

We’re also continuing our schools energy saving challenge throughout the week, provided to all primary schools across Northern Ireland. So, if you’re a teacher looking for resources to engage and motivate your students about sustainability, we can help you to create a raft of energy saving heroes with our simple digital activity that has been adapted for home-schooling.

Students will be tasked with saving energy, water and heat in five different ways. At the end of the week, you can count how many pupils were successful in each task and, once you’ve sent us the count, we’ll send you back a certificate stating how much carbon you’ve saved.

In 2019, over 8,000 children from 96 primary schools took part and saved over 57,000kg of carbon emissions. Take on the challenge this year to see how much your school could save.

Looking for a DIY project?

The Covid-19 pandemic means a lot of us will be spending more time at home this winter – and there’s never been a better time to save energy and money. As a part of Energy Saving Week, check out these top tips for a warmer winter and tag us in your DIY projects on social media using #energysavingweek2021

  1. Draught-proof your home

While professional draught-proofing can cost around £200, DIY is much cheaper and could save around £30 per year, making your home a more comfortable place to live.

If you don’t use your fireplace, insulating your chimney will make your home feel warmer. A chimney draught excluder could save you around £20 on your energy bills.

  1. Insulate your pipes

Insulating exposed pipes is an easy DIY install – you can buy foam insulation tubes online or from a DIY store and slip them over your pipes. In a typical house, materials will cost around £20, and you’ll save around £4 a year on your energy bills.

  1. Loft insulation

The majority of homes have some loft insulation, but many don’t have the recommended 270mm depth. If you have no loft insulation, installing 270mm of new insulation could save up to £160, depending on the size of your home.

  1. Hot water cylinder insulation

All new hot water cylinders have some insulation, however those with a hot water tank jacket under 25mm thick could benefit from top-up insulation.

A hot water cylinder jacket costs around £15. If you have no insulation and install an 80mm jacket, you could save around £95 a year. Topping up your hot water cylinder insulation from 25mm to 80mm jacket could save around £20 a year.

  1. Upgrade heating controls

Room thermostats allow households to set and maintain the temperature at home. Installing and using a full set of heating controls could save up to £85 a year if you currently don’t have any.

Costs can vary significantly due to the variety of heating system types, sizes and controls available. We recommended shopping around to get the best deal from professional installers.