Our approach to implementing the Energy Strategy
Updated: 18 Aug 2018
In order to implement our energy strategy, we adopt the following approach.
This sector accounts for two thirds of the Northern Ireland housing stock, and therefore contributes significantly to the improvements in energy efficiency.
As we have no direct enforcement powers over how owner occupiers use energy, we try to raise overall awareness of the benefits of energy efficiency, promotion of specific energy saving measures and through partnerships offering financial assistance and advice.
Housing Executive properties
We aim to make sure that all sectors of the housing market in Northern Ireland can take advantage of the benefits of energy efficiency. We are in the process of making all Housing Executive properties as energy efficient as possible through a programme of physical works.
We are always looking for opportunities to integrate energy conservation measures into existing planned improvement and maintenance programmes to reduce costs. We recommend, wherever feasible, the use of least environmentally damaging fuels and extensive use of heating controls in improvement programs. We have also tested a number of renewable and innovative energy technologies in Housing Executive homes.
The housing association sector has a higher average SAP score than other groups. Nevertheless, both the Housing Executive and housing associations recognise that more work can be done to further improve energy efficiency within this sector, particularly among the older homes that scored below the average figure.
We encourage housing associations to further improve energy efficiency in homes when carrying out upgrades alongside planned maintenance and improvement work. We recommend the use of the most energy efficient heating systems and controls in housing association properties at newbuild stage.
Private rented sector
The private sector used to perform comparatively poorly in terms of the average SAP score. However in recent years the situation has improved and we encourage landlords to continue to upgrade their properties using the range of financial incentives available - grants and landlord efficiency allowances.
We emphasise the financial benefits for landlords, as well as the fact that improved energy efficiency reduces fuel bills and improves comfort levels for their tenants.
While financial incentives are mainly directed at the owner occupied sector, items such as low energy light bulbs and efficient electrical appliances apply to everyone. There are schemes available which offer financial support for energy efficiency improvements.