You may find it hard to keep your home cosy come the colder weather, but help is now at hand from Northern Ireland Electricity.
NIE is giving out free loft and wall insulation, along with free heating controls, to householders in West Belfast.
Nearly half of all heat lost in an average home in Northern Ireland goes out through the loft or roof space and walls. Installing or indeed topping up your loft insulation is one of the simplest energy saving measures to save you money. If you currently have no loft insulation and you install the recommended 27cms depth, you could save between £180-£220 a year off your heating bills and nearly 1.5 tonnes of CO2 per year*. Even if you already have some insulation installed, you will still save between £50-60 a year by increasing the insulation you have from 5cms to 27cms.
NIE’s Maria Devlin recently visited the Colin Neighbourhood Partnership offices in the Dairy Farm to enlist their help in letting local people know about the scheme, she said: “Not only will NIE pay for you to have the insulation and heating controls installed, at no cost to you, but the controls will go on saving you money off heating bills for years.
“Around a third of all the heat lost in an un-insulated home is lost through the walls. The insulation acts as a blanket, trapping the heat from the house below. If you have cavity walls, insulating them will make a great difference. You can save between £130 and £160 per year off your heating bills by putting in cavity wall insulation. By covering the cost, NIE is hoping as many householders as possible will apply for the scheme and keep the heat in their home this winter.”
There are in fact 1,500 free energy saving packs available from NIE’s Energy Efficiency Programme for people on lower incomes to put in not only insulation but also heating controls such as thermostatic radiator valves, room thermostats and hot water heating separate controls. These NIE grants are 100% funded, totally free of charge. You just have to own your own house.
Annette McCann, Families Community Development Worker from Colin Neighbourhood Partnership added:
“We would encourage everyone in the Colin area young and old to apply now to NIE to find out if they are eligible for these grants as this would help reduce fuel bills and create energy efficient homes in time for winter approaching”
If you do not meet any of the above criteria, NIE has another scheme open to everyone which gives £150 cashback when you have loft insulation installed and another £150 cashback when you have cavity wall insulation installed, all helping you add those extra vital inches.
An average cost for a contractor installing loft insulation in a semi-detached house is around £470 so with savings of around *£180-£220, it pays for itself in just over two year. Cavity wall insulation costs around £450 and with savings of *£130-£160 per year, it pays for itself in around three years.
To apply for either insulation deal from NIE call the Energy Saving Trust Advice Centre on freephone 0800 512 012. For a full list of energy saving grants available from NIE visit