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Northern Ireland stakeholders supporting Energy Saving Week 5-9 November 2018. Left to right: Bronach Graham Consumer Council, Jonathan Martindale Phoenix Natural Gas, Pat Austin NEA , Brian Rankin Choice Housing Association, Wilma Stewart Power NI, Robert Clements NIHE, Catherine Shine firmus energy, Nigel Brady Bryson Energy, Angela Gracey-Roger Energy Saving Trust, and Lynsey Orr SGN Natural Gas.

Energy Saving Week has been launched across Northern Ireland and will run between 5-9 November 2018. This annual event aims to raise awareness of the simple tips that can help everyone keep warm this winter without increasing energy bills.

Energy Saving Week brings together partners from across Northern Ireland working to help everyone save energy, reduce bills and limit the impact of our energy use on the environment.

Only 15 per cent of us have draught-proofed our homes in preparation for winter. While professional draught-proofing can cost from £85, DIY is much cheaper and could save around £25 each year, making your home a warmer and more comfortable place to live.

If a fire place is not being used, warm air can escape so insulating your chimney will make your home feel warmer, installing a chimney draught excluder can save around £15 each year on energy bills.

Insulating your hot water pipes is a quick, easy and effective way to reduce energy, as well as reducing heat loss from your system, lagging pipes will also prevent them from getting too cold in winter and therefore prevents pipes bursting.

An easy DIY install, insulating exposed pipes in a typical house, the materials will save around £5 each year on your energy bills.

More than half the money spent on energy bills goes towards providing heating and hot water. Turning down your room thermostat by just one degree can save around £75 a year, based on a typical gas- heated, semi-detached home without reducing comfort.

Angela Gracey-Roger of the Energy Saving Trust said:

“Energy Saving Trust and our partners are looking to help households live more comfortably without increasing their energy bills. In fact, by following some of our tips energy bills can be reduced without impacting on comfort, as we believe no one should live in a cold home at winter or need to worry about their energy bills. The impact on people’s physical and mental health can be significant”

As we prepare for the cold winter months that lie ahead, there are some further simple changes that can help save energy and reduce bills all year round.

Avoid standby and turning off devices when not in use, as the average household could save £35 off their annual electricity bill and almost all electrical appliances can be turned off at the plug without upsetting their programming.

Turning off your lights when you don’t need them could save you around £15 a year, and further savings can be made by switching to LED bulbs. LED bulbs are available in a variety of shapes, sizes, fittings and brightness. If the average household replaced all of their bulbs with LEDs, it would cut their lighting bill by around 34%, saving around £35 each year.

If you have a shower that takes hot water straight from your boiler or hot water tank, you can fit a water efficient-shower head. A water efficient shower head will reduce your hot water usage and could save a four-person household as much as £70 a year.

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