Energy schemes need to be smarter, says consumer council

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Reduce the number of energy efficiency schemes and concentrate spending on high impact measures such as boiler replacement and insulation programmes which target fuel poor households, area by area. That’s the recommendation of a report on energy efficiency in NI from the Consumer Council.

The report recognises that energy efficiency schemes are having a positive impact for households in NI, but proposes that Government, the Regulator and energy companies need to work ‘smarter not harder’.

Speaking about the report the Consumer Council’s Head of Energy, Marian Cree said: “We examined energy efficiency schemes between 2002 and 2013 with a total value of £287m, however it was difficult to determine how effective they have been because there is a lack of consistency and transparency in the reporting for each of the energy efficiency schemes in operation.

“Consumer Council research shows that home energy bills are the number one concern for consumers in NI and yet only 40 per cent were aware of advice available from energy suppliers, which dropped to 28 per cent among those on lower incomes.”