Rural cottage dwellers taking part in an energy efficiency pilot scheme in Northern Ireland, could save up to £500 on their annual fuel bills.
The Northern Ireland Housing Executive (NIHE) launched the pilot scheme at three pre-1919 rural cottages; two at Bog Hill Road and another at Ballaghmore in Portballintrae, County Antrim. The scheme, which began last March, saw external insulation provided as well as replacement windows and doors, fascia, soffit, gutters, downpipes and loft insulation. The pilot is intended to develop NIHE policy for the refurbishment of other solid wall properties across Northern Ireland.
NIHE says the initial results show that savings are already being made by tenants.
Energy Conservation Manager Noel Rice says, “Energy bills before and after the work are being monitored. The completed energy performance assessments of the first property have indicated potential savings in heating, lighting and hot water costs of up to £518 per year. Additionally, there has been a carbon dioxide emission reduction of 2.4 tonnes per dwelling and the overall energy use in the cottage has been reduced by nearly 44%. It’s our intention to continue to monitor the energy costs of these three properties.”
One of the tenants said the work had made a marked difference to energy consumption, explaining “I noticed the difference immediately after the work was completed on my home. The first thing I had to do was turn down the thermostat from 25 to 20 because the house is too warm!”