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.

22 July 2016
Foster And McGuinness To Attend British-Irish Council Meeting
NI's First Minister and deputy First Minister are to attend a meeting of the British-Irish Council (BIC) in Wales to discuss the implications of Britain leaving the European Union (EU). Arlene Foster and Martin McGuinness will travel to Cardiff today, 22 July, to take part in talks with representatives from the UK and the Republic of Ireland.
14 July 2016
Confidence In NI Housing Market Drops
Confidence in the Northern Ireland housing market has fallen following the result of the EU referendum vote, according to the latest RICS and Ulster Bank Residential Market Survey. The overall price balance for Northern Ireland fell to its lowest level in more than three years. Expectations for prices over the next three months also dropped.
30 June 2016
NI Housing Association Reveals Plans To Develop 2,500 Social Homes
A housing association in Northern Ireland has revealed plans to develop 2,500 homes over the next eight years. Clanmil Housing Group made the announcement after it secured a £135 million finance agreement with three lenders. Clanmil confirmed loans from Danske Bank (£60m), First Trust (£50m) and Ulster Bank (£25m).
20 July 2016
Drop In Number Of People Claiming Unemployment Benefits
The number of people claiming unemployment benefits in Northern Ireland has dropped, according to new figures. The unemployment rate was 5.9% between March and May this year, a decrease of 0.4% over the year. The latest Labour Force Survey revealed in June the number of unemployment claimants stood at 36,700, a decrease of 600 over the month.
13 July 2016
Homes Damaged After Blaze From Shankill Bonfire Spreads
A number of homes have been destroyed after they caught fire during an Eleventh night bonfire in the Shankill Road area in Belfast. Three homes were damaged after a blaze broke out on the roofs of homes in the Hopewell Square area at around 1am on Tuesday, 12 July.
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.
30 June 2004
Minister reveals Strategic Energy Framework for NI
Enterprise Minister Barry Gardiner has announced a new Strategic Energy Framework for Northern Ireland. The framework builds on existing achievements and sets the energy agenda, including key priorities and principles, for developments in the energy sector in the coming years.
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).
19 April 2013
Planning Permission Waived For Solar Panels
From May, schools, businesses and farm buildings in Northern Ireland will no longer need planning permission for solar panels. Environment Minister Alex Attwood made the announcement today.
03 April 2007
Renewable energy grant initiative offers
As summer approaches and your garden springs back to life, it’s time to plant the seeds of a renewable energy system for your home. With government grants of up to £15,000, the installation of such renewable energy systems as solar panels, wood fuelled boilers or ground source heat pumps, can blossom into reality.
11 February 2013
NI Energy Bill Approved
The Executive has approved the new Northern Ireland Energy Bill. The Bill will help the Executive with its aim to create a sustainable energy system which relies on more renewable energy sources.
27 February 2006
Government turns to green power
The Government has announced plans to help promote green energy in Northern Ireland homes. The Northern Ireland Secretary of State Peter Hain said that the £59 million Environment and Renewable Energy funding package will include grant assistance to private householders wanting to install renewable energy systems to heat their homes.
26 July 2016
'Viable Pipe Bomb' Found In West Belfast
Residents had to be evacuated from their homes after a device was found during an overnight security alert in west Belfast. The viable pipe bomb was discovered outside a house in the Andersonstown Crescent area on Tuesday, 26 July. Police and army bomb disposal experts attended the scene and made the device safe.
24 July 2006
Government proposes compulsory 'green energy'
The Government has today announced proposals to change Building Regulations which will make the use of renewable energy compulsory in all new buildings from 2008.
03 November 2005
£50m fund will make NI European energy 'leader'
The new £50 million ‘Energy and Environment Fund’ will make Northern Ireland a European leader in the development and use of clean, renewable energy forms.