Phoenix Natural Gas Supports Energy Saving Week

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A UK survey that included households in Northern Ireland found that householders are hiding under blankets, duvets and jumpers instead of taking simple steps to make their home warmer this winter.

To launch the 17th annual Energy Saving Week in N Ireland, research from the Energy Saving Trust has found that 42 per cent of us avoid switching on the heating during the colder spells because of worries about energy bills; with more than a third of us also saying we find it difficult to keep our homes as warm as we’d like.

However, many of us are failing to undertake the simple tasks that could prevent us reaching for blankets, duvets and winter woollies in a bid to keep warm. 

Surprisingly, people under 35 years old are almost 3 times more likely to use a blanket to keep warm than people over 55. In fact, 65 per cent of us will put on a warm jumper indoors, and 42 per cent of us will cover ourselves with a blanket.

By comparison, only 15 per cent have already draught-proofed their home in preparation for winter and only 7 per cent intend to draught-proof.

Patrick Thompson, Energy Saving Trust Northern Ireland said: “Pulling on a jumper or using a blanket is a sensible idea to stay warm and keep bills down. However, the fact that 40 per cent of us are worried about being able to keep our homes warm this winter is a concern; we should all be confident in being comfortable in our own homes.”

“Only 29 per cent of us bleed radiators in preparation for winter, meaning they could have cold spots, while a third of us have not had our heating system serviced in the last year – which could leave it more prone to breakdowns.”

“Winter-proofing your home is the best way to insulate yourself from the chills of the season without spending more money on heating bills.  Energy Saving Week aims to engage householders to prepare their homes for winter.”

Other findings include:

  • 50% of people on means tested benefits say they struggle to keep their home warm
  • 1 in 6 don’t even know what temperature they heat their home to
  • 48% of renters struggle to heat their home compared to 29% of homeowners
  • Renters are far more likely to avoid turning the heating on compared to homeowners

Thompson added: “We’re urging people to make some straightforward improvements to their homes so that they can be comfortable during cold periods. There are even grants available to help towards the cost of fitting insulation or a new boiler, so it’s worth checking.” 

“The Energy Saving Trust website is a great resource for all; giving independent advice and guides on the problems you can address quickly and easily – and helping you avoid the worst winter woollies in favour of a warmer, more comfortable home. We have local grant information too.”

Household efficiency information and advice can be found on the Energy Saving Trust website, on

Energy Saving Week is being supported by Phoenix Energy, the Housing Executive, National Energy Action, consumer bodies and electricity and gas suppliers who have organised energy saving road-shows at locations around the country.

Road-show locations

30 October      10am —1pm   Kennedy Centre, Belfast

30 October      2—5pm           Forestside, Belfast

31 October      10 —1pm        Bloomfield Shopping Centre, Bangor

31 October      2—5pm           Fairhill Shopping Centre, Ballymena

1 November    10—1pm         The Quays, Newry

1 November    2—5pm           High Street Mall, Portadown

2 November    10—1pm         Foyleside, Derry/Londonderry

2 November    2—5pm           Asda, Omagh

3 November    10—2pm         Erneside Shopping Centre, Enniskillen