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15th October 2021

Energy Efficiency

Tips, tools and information to run your home energy efficiently and save money.

Energy Efficiency Tips

Every one of us is an energy user and there are many things we can do to reduce how much energy we use. This is especially good news for the bill payer as using less energy means more savings. Did you know that by taking some simple steps you can save around £100 per year off your electricity bill? Follow the Energy Saving Trust's tips: 

  1. Turning down your thermostat by just 1°C could save up to £60 on your energy bill.
  2. If the average household replaced all of their bulbs with LEDs, it would cost about £100 and save about £40 a year on bills.
  3. Save around £35 a year by switching off appliances at the wall instead of leaving them on stand-by.
  4. Save up to £15 a year by switching off lights that are not being used.
  5. Save around £8 a year by spending one minute less in the shower each day.
  6. Save up to £6 a year by only boiling the amount of water you need.

You can also save significant money on your home heating costs. Lowering your room thermostat by just one degree can save you up to £75 per year and if you install a timer and thermostatic radiator valves, you could save much more. For more information visit the Energy Saving Trust website: Energy Saving Quick Wins.

Other energy saving tips:

  1. Your walls are responsible for a third of your heat loss each year. Cavity Wall and Loft Insulation can help save up to £265 off your energy bill.
  2. Switching electricity supplier could save up to £142.
  3. Switching to paperless billing, not only gives you more control over your account, but can save money on your energy bills.
  4. Having your boiler serviced regularly, not only means that it’s safer, but that it’s as efficient as possible
  5. By submitting your own regular meter readings you can ensure that you are on top of your energy bills and avoid any estimated billings. For help on submitting meter readings check out our video here.

Energy Efficiency Tools

We’ve developed some handy tools to help you see how much money your electrical appliances are costing you to run. Just go to the two links below to see how much your Sunday roast costs to cook or how much you spend on lighting the tree for Santa Claus.

The single appliance checker will let you see how much appliances cost to run on a per minute, per hour and per day basis. Handy for checking out how much that new fridge will cost to run.

  1. Common appliance running cost checker.
  2. Single appliance cost checker.

Energy Efficiency Grants and Schemes

You may be able to get some help to update your heating system and add other money saving measures to the fabric of your home. 

Making sure your home is well insulated can significantly reduce unnecessary heat loss too. Good insulation means lower energy bills and a more comfortable home. This is especially important for older people and people who are unwell.

The following schemes are in place to help:

Scheme Information/Criteria
Affordable Warmth Scheme You may be eligible if you are an owner occupier or householder of a private rented property and your gross annual household income is less than £23k.
Boiler Replacement Scheme This scheme is open to owner occupier whose household income is less than £40k and who have an inefficient boiler of at least 15 years old.
NI Sustainable Energy Programme (NISEP) NISEP is a fund that is collected annually from the NI electricity tariff and then invested into energy efficiency projects to benefits consumers and reduce bills.
Oil Buying Clubs The Housing Executive has established Oil Clubs across NI which has enabled householders to buy oil at a reduced price and make savings. More information is available on The Housing Executive website.

For expert advice on energy efficiency and the assistance available you can check out The Housing Executive.

We also recognise that some people face difficult decisions with the limited money they have, particularly when it comes to heating their homes or eating. We work with National Energy Action, the national charity working to end fuel poverty in Northern Ireland. Ensuring the grant and assistance schemes remain available is just part of that work.

Home Heating Comparison

Heating your home is easier to do when you have efficiency measures in place such as insulation. Your rooms heat up quickly and it costs less to maintain the comfortable level of heat which is 21 degrees for your living space and 18 degrees for all other rooms.

Regardless of insulation or the other measures you have in place, your annual heating costs depend on the type of fuel your central heating system uses. Some fuel types can cost more than double for the same property size so it’s important to consider all of the options available when deciding to install of update your heating system.

To help, we have compared the average annual cost of heating your home with four different fuel types (see chart below). Note: The figures in the chart below are estimated prices taken from various sources including the Sutherland Tables.

For more help or advice, you can call out Consumer Protection Team on 0800 121 6022 or email us at

Chart below last updated 2 April 2021.

Annual Home Heating Cost Comparison chart showing price comparisons between fuel types. Oil is the cheapest. 
Average price of home heating oil in Northern Ireland