The Housing Executive is the Home Energy Conservation Authority for Northern Ireland delivering a programme worth £32 million to the Northern Ireland economy.
The work involves investigating new technologies, new funding mechanisms, developing new approaches to delivery and the promotion of the energy efficiency message through advice, information and education programmes. The work is all part of its commitment to combatting fuel poverty and making a difference.
Energy Efficiency Good Practice Guide
The Housing Executive firmly believes that to combat fuel poverty, reduce CO2 emissions and improve health and well-being a whole upgrade of the thermal envelope of a dwelling is the best approach.
The organisation has produced a Good Practice Guide for refurbishment in the residential sector. The Guide outlines the state of energy efficiency for the different tenures and sets out recommendations for the refurbishment of low rise dwellings. It also aims to better inform and influence key decision makers within both the public and private sector housing providers.
Since its launch, this Guide has proved an invaluable resource for those involved in the refurbishment of residential housing.
Solar PV Initiative
Housing Executive tenants are reaping the benefits of the first privately financed scheme for the installation of solar photovoltaic (PV) panels in Northern Ireland.
The initiative at 1,000 of its homes was recognised by the flagship awards for the renewables industry in Northern Ireland taking the Most Successful Renewable Electricity Installation at Action Renewables Awards.
The £5 million project is being privately financed by Saliis Ltd, is based on the ‘rent a roof’ model and is at no cost to the organisation. The installation of the solar PV panels is a simple process lasting a day but can mean up to 50 per cent per year saving on a householders’ annual electricity bills.
Oil buying clubs
Over 3,000 members of 27 oil clubs have collectively saved over £101,000 on the cost of their home heating.
Transforming lives by combatting fuel poverty is a key objective of the Housing Executive and to support this, the organisation proposed the oil buying club scheme.
It is based on the simple premise that the more households buying oil together the greater the discount that can be negotiated. Householders can order as little as 200 litres and as oil prices increase it gives them the opportunity to budget through spreading the cost. Member households have saved on average 10 per cent (£15 to £30) per oil fill.
Working in partnership with Bryson Energy 27 clubs have been established across Northern Ireland attracting members from across all tenures who are benefitting from the initiative.
An energy education programme, funded by the Housing Executive, received top marks in a survey of the 160 schools visited last year.
Over 7,400 pupils plus their teachers took part in the fun interactive sessions, delivered in partnership with Bryson Energy. It looked at:
- how energy is generated;
- learning about the different types of fuel;
- why insulation is used; what renewable energy is;
- the results of pollution; climate change;
- the effects of global warming;
- how to be more energy efficient in everyday activities.
Free energy advice
The Housing Executive also ensures all householders across Northern Ireland have access to free and impartial energy advice so climate change and fuel poverty are addressed. This partnership with Bryson Energy saw nearly 7,200 people benefit last year when they called 0800 142 2865.
The Housing Executive
Sustainable Development Unit Housing Centre
2, Adelaide Street, Belfast, BT2 8PB
Tel: 03448 920 900