Expert hacks to save home heating this winter despite energy price hikes

The Consumer Council has advised householders across NI of a range of steps they can take this winter to help cope with dramatic increases home heating costs.

Saturday, 20th November 2021, 6:00 am

The advice comes after the latest in a series of price increases made by electricity and gas suppliers - this time a 21.4% electricity tariff increase by Power NI.

However Raymond Gormley, Head of Energy at the Consumer Council, says householders can take a range of steps to soften the blow .

“Making small changes at home really can help take the edge off our bills,” he told the News Letter;-

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Pressures on electricity system predicted.

1. Turning down your thermostat by just 1°C could save up to £55 on your energy bill.

2. Replacing all bulbs with LEDs would cost about £100 and save £30 a year.

3. Switching off appliances at the wall instead of leaving them on stand-by.

4. Save up to £11 a year by switching off lights that are not being used.

5. Save around £8 a year by spending one minute less in the shower each day.

6. Save up to £6 a year by only boiling the amount of water you need.

7. Submit your own regular meter readings to ensure your bills are accurate.

He also advises using The Consumer Council’s free independent energy price comparison tool to compare all available electricity and gas tariffs across NI. See www.consumercouncil.org.uk/comparison_tool/begin or call 0800 121 6022. There are several grants and schemes available to upgrade heating systems or improve insulation, he notes. The Housing Executive can advise on the Affordable Warmth Scheme and The Boiler Replacement Scheme and the Energy Saving Trust on The NI Sustainable Energy Programme.

The Housing Executive has also Oil Clubs to help buy oil at reduced prices, call 0800 111 4455. And the Department of Communities has a free ‘Make the call’ service to check if you are getting all benefits you are entitled to, call 0800 232 1271.

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