Bryson Energy’s ‘Whole House Solution’ model

Director of Bryson Energy, Nigel Brady, discusses the organisations priorities of tackling climate change and alleviating fuel poverty.

Brady outlines that Bryson Energy is a social enterprise; a not-for-profit charitable organisation and a private company limited by guarantee. It is part of the wider Bryson Charitable Group and makes up one of six business units of Bryson.

It is also the EU National Energy Agency for Northern Ireland. Energy agencies reflect their local conditions and work with a wide range of partners to achieve their goals. As Northern Ireland’s Energy Agency, its goal is to support and motivate energy users to reduce their costs and greenhouse emissions

Bryson Energy has its origins in the first energy agency established back in 1995 with a remit to tackle climate change through the reduction of domestic energy use.

Brady explains a major issue for Northern Ireland is that fuel poverty currently affects 42 per cent of households, one of the highest rates in western Europe. Of course, any reduction in energy use not only reduces household costs but also reduces negative impact on the environment. “Therefore, it is no surprise that Bryson Energy has focused its attention on these two areas of tackling climate change and contributing to the alleviation of fuel poverty,” he says.

Operating out of offices in Belfast, Enniskillen and Derry, Bryson Energy delivers a range of fuel poverty and health related programmes such as grant administration, oil buying clubs, budgeting advice, handyperson, benefit checks and several retrofit programmes in partnership with a range of organisations.

Brady outlines some highlights such as managing 20 oil clubs for NIHE with over 4,000 members and coordinating the delivery of over five million litres of oil with overall savings of 7 per cent for households. However, at its core is the provision of impartial, independent energy advice for households which last year saw over 21,000 households across Northern Ireland receiving energy advice. This advice promotes energy efficiency in the home and signposts householders to any available grants for energy improvement.

Brady explains: “Bryson Energy, in its 20 plus year history, has learned that fuel poverty will not be solved by one single solution. There is no silver bullet, the cost of fuel; the energy efficiency of the home and the household income all play a part. As a result, Bryson Energy promotes a Whole House Solution approach to fuel poverty. This means not only installing energy efficiency measures but bringing together a wide range of interventions such as advice, brokering, budgeting, employment options and utilising IT solutions to control energy usage.”

As part of demonstrating this approach Bryson Energy has commissioned several reports from Ulster University which can be accessed through the Bryson Energy website.

When asked about the future Brady concludes: “A Whole House Solution is the best way to energy proof households in Northern Ireland against an uncertain future of rising energy prices and fuel poverty.”

For free and independent energy advice call 0800 1422 865


For more information on the work of Bryson Energy see: www.brysonenergy.org

 

 

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