Housing Executive: People, property and energy efficiency

Youthful energy: Hazelwood Primary School in Ballymena took first prize in the Housing Executive’s Home Energy Schools Poster Competition in, partnership with the Education Authority. Schools across Northern Ireland participated and as well as an educational trip to the Titanic Centre for the Primary 7 children, the winning school received a £1,000 cash prize.

Recently named in the Top 50 UK landlords, the Housing Executive is the Home Energy Conservation Authority (HECA) for Northern Ireland.

As part of this role, we publish an annual progress report on energy efficiency across all residential sectors in order to identify and promote practical, cost effective measures to improve local energy efficiency.

Fuel Poverty remains an issue and there is an ongoing need to improve energy efficiency.

The Housing Executive’s 2016 House Condition Survey estimated that approximately 22 per cent (160,000) of households in Northern Ireland were in fuel poverty – this represents a significant improvement in fuel poverty levels since 2011, when the figure was 42 per cent (294,000).

• Low income continues to be a significant cause of fuel poverty in Northern Ireland (55 per cent of households with an annual income of less than £10,399 were in fuel poverty). Indeed, 78 per cent of all households in fuel poverty had incomes of £15,599 per annum or less.

• More than half (52 per cent) of households living in older dwellings (pre 1919) were in fuel poverty.

• One-third (34 per cent) of households living in small villages, hamlets or open country areas were in fuel poverty.

• Almost two-fifths (38 per cent) of households headed by an older person (75 plus) were in fuel poverty and one-third (34 per cent) of older household types were fuel poor.

Since 2011 there has been considerable investment, of approximately £300 million, in energy efficiency in Northern Ireland. £117 million was invested in the private sector through the Warm Homes, Affordable Warmth and Boiler Replacement schemes. £181 million was invested in energy efficiency improvements to Housing Executive stock through the solid fuel replacement programme and other schemes such as double-glazing upgrades.

The Survey shows the continued progress in achieving higher levels of energy efficiency:

• Overall, 99 per cent of all dwellings had central heating.

• Oil remained the predominant fuel source in Northern Ireland (68 per cent); however the proportion of dwellings with gas central heating continued to increase, and the proportion with less efficient fuel sources such as solid fuel, electric, or dual fuel, decreased.

• Significant improvements were noted for loft insulation. In particular, there was an increase in the use of the highest standard of loft insulation (more than 150mm in thickness) from 35 per cent in 2011 to 54 per cent in 2016.

• Some improvement was also achieved in relation to double glazing, with the proportion of older dwellings with full double glazing increasing (particularly those dwellings built between 1919 and 1944).

In conjunction with local councils, the Housing Executive helps deliver the Department for Communities Affordable Warmth Scheme, where £17 million has been spent improving energy efficiency in 4,148 private sector households.

In the last year alone, over 3,000 owner occupied dwellings also benefitted from the Department’s Boiler Replacement Scheme.

As a landlord, we’ve invested £16.2 million across 3,684 households installing energy efficient heating systems and £3.7 million in 2,133 households through double glazing installations last year.

We also promote the installation of natural gas, where available, in a bid to reduce carbon dioxide emissions via an annual Heating Programme.

Advice Line

In October 2018, the Housing Executive awarded Bryson Energy the contract to continue the delivery of Northern Ireland’s only local energy advice line for householders.

This rebranded service, now called Northern Ireland Energy Advice Line, provides free energy efficiency advice to householders across Northern Ireland, regardless of tenure. Advice is provided on heating systems and controls, condensation, oil buying clubs, boilers, insulation, energy bills and behavioural advice, double glazing, renewable energy and energy efficiency grants.

To contact the advice line, dial Freephone 0800 142 2865.

Housing Executive 2 Adelaide Street Belfast,
T: 03448 920900
For more information:



Recently named in the Top 50 UK landlords, the Housing Executive is the Home Energy Conservation Authority (HECA) for Northern Ireland.

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