Skip to main content
Blog Post 17 March 2022

St Patrick’s Day: a time for reflection in Northern Ireland

St Patrick’s Day is a day for celebration all around the world. We’re sure you will be celebrating in your own way, whether that be through attending a parade, cooking an Irish stew, or enjoying a pint of Guinness.

Our team members in Northern Ireland are using this year’s St Patrick’ Day to celebrate their recent achievements and to analyse the energy landscape where they live.

Here are their top five reflections:

1. A new net zero law

A great piece of news for Northern Ireland last week was the announcement that a new law was passed targeting net zero emissions by 2050. The additional appointment of a climate change commissioner is also really encouraging news. Previously Northern Ireland was the only part of the UK without climate legislation in place.

Under the new laws, the required reduction in methane, a potent greenhouse gas mostly produced by agriculture, will be limited to 46%. There is also now legal provision for a just transition, including support to help sectors adjust.

2. The state of play

The energy landscape in Northern Ireland differs from the rest of the UK. In England, Wales and Scotland you can choose from over 60 different energy suppliers with numerous deals available, but in Northern Ireland there are just five domestic electricity firms.

This highlights the importance of impartial energy advice services for households in Northern Ireland, which is something we have welcomed in the past at Energy Saving Trust. A one stop shop approach to delivering trusted information, advice and support to consumers will be essential in helping Northern Ireland deliver on its net zero targets.

With the recent passing of the climate change bill into law, there is room for optimism in Northern Ireland. The Northern Ireland Executive’s action plan for the country’s new energy strategy outlines some exciting plans, including a transition to low carbon transport, an energy efficiency retrofit scheme and the previously mentioned one stop shop approach.

3. Our new Northern Ireland Energy Advice webpage

To help households in Northern Ireland with energy advice, we have created our own Energy efficiency advice for households webpage, which features a range of energy saving tips. Since January we have managed to attract nearly 2,500 users to the page, which is something we will look to build on in the coming year. Householders can also phone the Northern Ireland Energy Advice Line, (manged by The Housing Executive) for further information and advice on 0800 111 44 55.

4. The Northern Ireland Sustainable Energy Programme

On behalf of the Utility regulator in Northern Ireland, Energy Saving Trust is the programme administrator of the Northern Ireland Sustainable Energy Programme (NISEP). Householders across Northern Ireland can benefit from NISEP with funding for energy efficiency measures such as cavity wall insulation, boiler upgrades, LED light bulbs and smart controls.

Further information on the current schemes can be viewed on our website. However, schemes close on 31 March and will reopen again in April, with further information to follow. With the current energy crisis and soaring bills, its definitely time to look at energy efficiency to offset some of the price increases.

5. Energy Saving Week

Energy Saving Week is an activity we promote every year in Northern Ireland. Each year we work with key stakeholders in the energy sector to promote energy saving tips to households and schools.

We ask primary schools to complete a daily energy saving challenge and submit their results to us. In return, the schools receive a certificate detailing how much carbon they’ve saved, and the top two schools win a prize. This year the winning school, St Mary’s Primary, Newcastle, Co. Down, is going to enjoy a day out at W5.

This year we also promoted an energy saving quiz across our social media channels with three participants winning vouchers.

Last updated: 17 March 2022