East Antrim Alliance Party MLA, Stewart Dickson, joins the Energy Saving Trust during Big Energy Saving Week in trying to encourage householders to start taking more control of their energy bills, particularly as three quarters of us are still worried about our energy bills.
Patrick Thompson from the Energy Saving Trust, said: “Rightfully hundreds of thousands of householders are confused by their heating controls because, let’s be honest, it can be a bit of a minefield. There are plenty of myths out there and it’s no wonder people aren’t getting it right. We are urging customers to learn about the myths, check their tariff, switch suppliers and insulate their homes.”
Mr Dickson said: “We can now ‘shop around’ in Northern Ireland for our energy supply for the cheapest energy deal and switch suppliers. The number of suppliers is growing and that alone should encourage greater competition which helps drive down prices. Also, some of the myths surrounding energy and control use are nearly unbelievable:
- MYTH 1: Turn the heating up when it’s cold outside. Half of us turn the thermostat up when it’s cold outside. A home shouldn’t need this as the thermostat is there to maintain the home temperature whatever the weather.
- MYTH 2: Turn up the thermostat to heat the room quicker. Over a third of us turn the room thermostat up when we want the room to heat up quicker. This does not help a room become warmer any quicker and only heats the home to a warmer temperature.
- MYTH 3: Leave the heating on low constantly. Thirty-eight per cent of us think it is more energy efficient to leave the heating turned on at a low temperature constantly, rather than turn it on and off. This means these homes are heated when no-one is there to benefit and then the home is too cold when people are in the home.
- MYTH 4: Hot water runs out if you stop feeding the tank. Nearly a third of us leave the water heating on all the time to make sure they never run out of hot water, which could be costing far more on energy bills than necessary.
- MYTH 5: Keep electric storage heaters on all the time. Few people with electric storage heaters fully understand how they work (only 38%). This means that households with electric heating could be paying through the nose by not taking advantage of cheaper night rate electricity.
Mr Dickson went on to say: “If householders in the three councils that are coming together to make up Mid & East Antrim applied a sensible energy regime of Turning down the thermostat in overheated rooms they could save a collective veritable fortune of £8,440,000 and 25,800 tonnes of CO2 per year. That’s £3,880,000 in Ballymena, £2,560,000 in Carrickfergus and £2,000,000 in Larne – its absolutely staggering”.