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Survey reveals Northern Ireland Households waste Millions

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2007 9:38 am    Post subject: Survey reveals Northern Ireland Households waste Millions Reply with quote

Survey reveals Northern Ireland Households waste Millions every year - October 2007

Householders in Northern Ireland could do more to combat climate change, according to a major survey carried out by the Northern Ireland Housing Executive and the Energy Saving Trust.
Millions are still being wasted every year as too many of us leave appliances on standby and fail to take a host of other simple measures that would save on our bills.

The survey, which was the most comprehensive of its kind carried out here reveals that although awareness of the issue is growing, few people are taking the problem seriously.

Amazingly, 17% of us have not even heard of climate change. And of the rest 29% said they weren't worried about it.

Noel Rice, Energy Conservation Manager at the NIHE said: "Northern Ireland currently has the highest levels of fuel poverty in the UK with a high ratio of peopleâ€TMs average income spent on fuel. Increasing energy efficiency is critical in both tackling fuel poverty and reducing carbon emissions. “

The survey found that the number of electrical appliances in homes is increasing all the time with around 70% of households having more than 15 electrical appliances in operation. Despite this large numbers of us still leave appliances on standby: 48% admitted to leaving their TVs plugged in at night, and 37% to leaving phone chargers on all the time.

The survey found that up to 20 household appliances could be left on standby, or charging, at any one time in the average household in Northern Ireland, and 22% of respondents admit to always leaving appliances on standby. In addition, 26% of respondents often leave an appliance on Standby mode with 39% of us leaving lights on unnecessarily either sometimes or often.

The vast majority of householders now have full heating controls on their system - and yet around one third of them do not know how to use them properly.

Mr Rice added: "This is really quite disturbing. We know that we can make big savings just by making small adjustments to the thermostat. We really need to help people understand how their systems work."

The survey found a lot of support for renewable energy. Ninety percent of people would like to see increased use of solar power with the next most favoured options being wind power (76%) and energy from waste (73%)

However, very few households have renewable sources themselves.

Mr Rice concluded: "It's quite clear from these findings that we need to work hard to help people to understand the issues more fully and to change their behaviours. Everyone stands to gain from greater energy efficiency and we all need to help to achieve it."

Noel Williams, Head of the Energy Saving Trust in Northern Ireland stated that:

"The Housing Executive has invested heavily in improving energy efficiency. In 2006/07 it spent more than £20 million on heating, insulation and double glazing with some 4,550 heating conversions. Going forward I am sure it will work just as hard in trying to help change peoples behaviour and influence the way they use energy in their homes."

He went on to say:

"Over 70% of householders feel they could do more to reduce their energy consumption and this survey has confirmed that we need to focus our future marketing campaigns in helping these households adjust their behaviour and gain the full benefit from the fuel they use without compromising on comfort. I would encourage those householders who have not yet done so, to do what 67,000 others did last year, and contact the NI Energy Saving Trust Advice Centre for free, impartial and independent advice on 0800 512 012."

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