Energy Saving Trust is one of the UK’s leading organisations working to mitigate climate change and the transition to a future of net zero greenhouse gas emissions.
We welcome the adoption by the UK Government of a legally binding target of net zero by 2050. This commitment is vital for action on climate change for the whole of the UK. The Scottish and Welsh Governments have said they will adopt targets consistent with net zero and we are hopeful that the Northern Ireland Assembly will also put in place a robust and ambitious strategy to allow Northern Ireland to follow suit. The Department for the Economy is now tasked with this and replacing the Strategic Energy Framework of 2010.
Cutting carbon emissions from buildings must now become our top priority. Infrastructure investment in energy efficient housing is needed to deliver a huge cut in carbon emissions as well as lower energy bills for householders. There is considerable work needed to develop the comprehensive policy framework required to achieve these cuts. For Northern Ireland, the high number of householders with old inefficient heating systems and poorly insulated homes is a considerable challenge.
Energy Saving Trust works across Northern Ireland to promote sustainable energy to individuals and families, a key area in the fight against climate change as more than half of carbon dioxide emissions come from our homes and our cars. We encourage people to use energy more efficiently, to install energy efficiency measures in their homes, and to opt for greener methods of travel at home and at work.
We have been the programme administrator of the Northern Ireland Sustainable Energy Programme (NISEP) for over 12 years, having helped the Utility Regulator set the framework back in 2008. Under NISEP, companies, including utilities, industry and others, install energy saving measures, such as insulation and efficient heating systems, in domestic homes and technology such as variable speed drives, heat recovery systems and LEDs in businesses. The programme particularly benefits people on low incomes, with 80 per cent of the funding ring-fenced for priority customers. We are proud to be supporting the thousands of householders and businesses who receive grants via NISEP each year and also in how the energy efficiency measures being installed are contributing towards Northern Ireland’s carbon emissions reduction. Recently, EST attended the Utility Regulator’s ‘Making the Energy Transition Happen’ event where staff met with Jenny Pyper, the CEO of the Utility Regulator.
Alongside our work on NISEP, we deliver our annual flagship campaign, Energy Saving Week, in partnership with key stakeholders in Northern Ireland. Our campaign aims to help people take action and become ‘low carbon citizens’ in all areas of life, highlighting behaviour changes which are simple and easy to adopt in order to reduce carbon emissions. We also work with local authorities and primary schools in Northern Ireland to get the key messages out to as many people as possible throughout the week.
Energy Saving Week will run between 4 and 8 November and coincides with Green Great Britain and Northern Ireland week this year. Follow the campaign on Twitter via @EnergySvgTrust and #energysavingweek2019.
For further information on Energy Saving Trust’s work in Northern Ireland
Operations Manager, NI