Bookmark and Share
09/01/2007

Government looks to solar panel efficiency

Solar panels are being installed free of charge to 500 homes in Northern Ireland as part of the Government’s renewable energy campaign.



The panels cut water heating bills by an average £120 a year as well as reducing emissions.

They are among the first tangible benefits from the £59m Environment and Renewable Energy Fund announced by the Secretary of State last year.



Social Development Minister David Hanson today visited the home of Mr & Mrs Chris Gamble at Moss Road, Lisburn where a solar panel has been installed to launch the Housing Executive’s annual Home Energy Conservation Report.

The Minister said:

 "Solar panels take advantage of a free energy source, the sun. They also help to reduce energy bills and help our fight to eradicate fuel poverty. This initiative is one of several major projects supported by the Environment and Renewable Energy Fund (EREF).



"We need to do everything we possibly can to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels. This has been made more imperative by the volatile fuel prices we have been faced with in recent years. The Housing Executive is playing a lead role in this battery and its latest report highlights the progress that has been made to date.



"We hope that the £59 million EREF fund will build this and encourage Northern Ireland people to harness the natural resources all around us to provide heat and power. It is expected to lever a further £300 million of private sector investment in our renewables infrastructure."



Brian Rowntree, Chairman of the Housing Executive, said:

 "The 10 years since the Housing Executive was named the Home Energy Conservation Authority for Northern Ireland have seen substantial improvements in the levels of energy efficiency, with an improvement of 17.2% compared with 14.56% in England by 2005. The Housing Executive continues to improve the energy efficiency of its own stock and support schemes in the private sector.


"We are currently involved in a two-year programme involving the installation of 600 solar thermal panels in its properties. We, too, hope that such schemes will make the general public more aware of the alternative technologies, helping to drive down the prices of these technologies and making them more affordable for everyone across the residential sector."

The solar water heating panels are being part funded by Northern Ireland Electricity (NIE). Managing Director Stephen McCully also visited the home of Mr & Mrs Gamble today and said: 

"Demand for alternative energy sources has been growing steadily in Northern Ireland and it is hoped that by encouraging this type of project, other homeowners and businesses will consider installing sustainable energy solutions.

"We are very keen to help support renewable energy installations and currently have a grant available to help householders install electricity generating panels."

(EF)

Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

12 August 2014
£14m Film Studios Announced For Belfast
Two new film studios at a cost of £14m are to be built in Belfast, the Department of the Environment has announced. Planning approval has been granted for the new studios, which will expand on the existing facilities in the city's Titanic Quarter, where the HBO fantasy drama Game Of Thrones is filmed.
26 July 2005
WWF welcomes all-island renewable energy plans
WWF Northern Ireland has welcomed plans by the British and Irish Government's to secure cost effective, environmentally friendly power sources for the future of Ireland, north and south.
08 October 2003
UK Energy Minister launches new initiative in Belfast
A new initiative to encourage the development of renewable energy in Northern Ireland is being launched today in Belfast by UK Energy Minister, Stephen Timms.
20 November 2002
NI homes save £82m due to energy efficiency
Warmer homes, lower bills and a healthier environment have resulted from a focus on Home Energy Efficiency in Northern Ireland.
21 September 2016
Two Homes Attacked By Masked Men With Hatchets In Co Antrim
Two homes have been attacked in Larne, Co Antrim, by two masked men carrying hatchets in the early hours of Wednesday morning, 21 September. Two people were uninjured after windows and doors were smashed at a property in Fleet Street. Damage was also caused to the inside of the house.
08 September 2016
Lagan Homes (NI) To Build New Houses In East Belfast
Lagan Homes (NI) is to build a residential development, worth an estimated £120 million, in east Belfast. Millmount Village is a 90 acre site that will provide up to 700 new homes supporting the need for the development of more houses in Greater Belfast and across Northern Ireland. The project is to employ 100 people over the next 10 years.
12 April 2013
Sustainable Energy Report Launched
A new report into the economic benefits of sustainable energy technology in Northern Ireland has been launched. The MATRIX Horizon Panel report into Sustainable Energy identifies the capability of the Sustainable Energy technology sector in Northern Ireland and opportunities for local companies to exploit.
20 January 2011
Renewable Energy Gets Powerful Boost
A new association is being formed today aimed at expanding the use of renewable energy sources, such as wind power. The Northern Ireland Renewable Industry Group (NIRIG), which represents the collective voices of Irish Wind Energy Association (IWEA) and RenewableUK in Northern Ireland, was officially launched on Thursday.
03 September 2009
Wind Is 'Foundation' Of Renewable Sector
Wind energy could form the bedrock for achieving Northern Ireland's renewable energy targets, the Environment Minister has said. Speaker at the Irish Wind Energy Association Workshop in Belfast, Edwin Poots reaffirmed his support for the wind industry and all other renewable energy technologies.
31 July 2008
"Squandered" Potential Of NI Renewable Energy Industry
The alleged "paralysis" of the Northern Ireland planning system is hampering efforts to establish a viable renewable energy industry in the Province, according to a senior Airtricity director.
09 July 2003
Consumer Council calls for action on energy costs
The General Consumer Council today called for action to cut energy costs in the province following the publication of consultation on the government’s New Energy Strategy for Northern Ireland. The Chairman of the Consumer Council, Steve Costello, said that the single biggest issue facing energy consumers was the "high price" of services.
30 June 2003
Wind farm underscores commitment to renewable energy
Enterprise, Trade and Investment Minister, Ian Pearson, has announced an increase of 80% in Northern Ireland’s renewable energy generation capacity.
22 October 2001
Belfast City Hall embraces eco-friendly energy policy
Belfast City Council has officially launched its new environment friendly Energy Policy that will see services carried out throughout the city gradually switching to renewable energy supply.
21 December 2011
NI Renewable Energy Sector Growing
A leading local renewable energy firm is celebrating the submission of its 50th planning application, marking the surging growth of the renewable energy sector in Northern Ireland.
03 September 2004
Businesses and schools urged to adopt solar power
Communities, voluntary groups, public sector organisations and small businesses have been urged to save money and use solar power through a new grant scheme from Northern Ireland Electricity (NIE).