CONSUMERS are preparing for the big festive countdown and bagging plenty of gift bargains on the high street.
But many homeowners overlook energy costs during the winter, according to leading energy provider Power NI.
Homes in Northern Ireland drain away a substantial amount of wasted electricity every year and Power NI has come to the rescue with a bumper Christmas checklist to help customers save energy and reduce bills throughout the festive period.
“Households waste between £50 and £90 each year by leaving appliances on standby mode or plugged in but not in use.
“Every saving counts so make sure to unplug all those gadgets including Xboxes and other gaming devices to cut your energy bills and reduce unnecessary carbon emissions,” says Jenny Livingstone, Energy Services Manager with Power NI.
“Many of us will be entertaining family and friends over the holidays but this too all adds to energy costs.
“If you are a master chef in the kitchen try making full use of your oven when it’s on, fit lids on pots and if you can, use a microwave for reheating.
“Making small changes and following our simple checklist will ensure that you can keep cosy and save a few extra pennies this Christmas time.”
Home energy checks, boiler servicing, insulation and managing energy bills at your fingertips with Energy Online are just some of the easy ways people can reduce energy costs throughout the year.
“As the temperatures plummet during winter months we always advise customers to service their boiler to increase efficiency and keep your home cosy as boilers account for around 55% of your annual energy bill.
“And, you can now control your heating at any time thanks to Climote, which is a digital version of your time clock. It allows you to control heating and hot water remotely by text, online or app.”
Jenny adds; “Finally no Christmas is complete without twinkling lights! Replace just six traditional bulbs with energy saving ones in your home and you could save £54 and use up to 80% less electricity than a standard bulb.”
• All I want for Christmas is…new gadgets – Don’t leave your new tablets or mobile devices on charge for longer than necessary and don’t forget to switch off other devices at the plug when not in use such as digital top boxes, PC’s, broadband modems, stereos, DVD players, TVs, microwaves or game consoles
• Have yourself a merry little Christmas and reduce energy in your kitchen by using a microwave or slow cooker to rustle up festive treats
• Service your boiler regularly with Power NIs expert heating team. It extends the life of your boiler and improves its efficiency helping you save money on your energy bills and costs only £49.50
• Check your home energy rating by taking a few minutes to complete our FREE online Home Energy Check (HEC) at www.powerni.co.uk/HEC – this will provide you with a personalised report on how to save energy in your home
• Keep Frosty the Snowman out of your home by installing cavity wall and loft insulation saving you over £300* on your annual energy bill
• Reducing thermostats by just 1ºC can save around £65 each year
• Monitor your energy usage, see how much you’re wasting and compare it with similar homes with Energy Online and you could save up to £60 a year (6% off our standard rate, £15 per quarter)
• Switch to energy saving light bulbs – they use up to 80% less electricity and are 78% cheaper to run than a standard bulb
For more advice and information on how to save money and energy this winter with Power NI visit at www.powerni.co.uk/heating or call FREE on 0800 0321 894 (lines open Mon – Fri, 9am – 5pm).