Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 28 December 2014

People in Northern Ireland more likely to share bath to save cash

People in Northern Ireland are more likely than their European counterparts to share a bath in an effort to save energy and money.

That’s according to new research published today to mark the beginning of Energy Saving Week, which runs until October 26.

A survey of 6,000 adults across five European countries has found that 33% of people in Northern Ireland would now share a bath or shower to save money on their electricity or gas bill, compared to just 8% of Swedes.

The research also showed that although the desire to save money motivates people to take energy saving measures, time pressures prevent then from going further to save energy and find a ‘green/life balance’:

Three-fifths of those surveyed from Northern Ireland said that they are more concerned with reducing their carbon dioxide emissions than they were 12 months ago, while 57% said that they would take more steps to cut their carbon dioxide emissions if they had more time.

The findings also revealed that, collectively, the Northern Irish spend over five million hours each year waiting on hold on the telephone, and more than seven million hours stuck in traffic.

Similarly, seven out of ten residents in Northern Ireland spend more than 10 minutes a week standing in queues.

The Head of the Energy Saving Trust in Northern Ireland, Noel Williams, today urged people in Northern Ireland to take just 10 minutes during Energy Saving Week to do something green.

"It's clear from our research that people in Northern Ireland and across Europe want to be green if only they had time- work and family responsibilities just keep getting in the way,” he said.

"Energy Saving Week is the perfect opportunity to discover your green/life balance, however much time you do or don’t have. We’re urging people to take just ten minutes to make time to change their households’ habits to help fight climate change.

“It doesn’t take long to get things started- there are lots of things you can do in just 10 minutes."

Around a third (34%) of people in Northern Ireland said that their job is the main reason that they do not have time to be green.

But over half (54%) of NI employees said they would be more motivated if their employer offered some kind of a green benefit to encourage them to live a greener lifestyle, such as loans or free energy doctor visits to employees, while 17% said they wanted time off to reduce their CO2 emissions.

Mr Williams added: “Money is tight for many people, so employers can play a central role in making it easier for employees to make green changes. By helping equip them to live a greener lifestyle, not only can employees feel a greater sense of motivation but they can help to beat the credit crunch at the same time. By being more energy efficient in the home, the average householder could save £340 a year. Calling the Energy Saving Trust advice centre free on 0800 512 012 is a great first step.”

Energy Saving Week, now in its twelfth year, is designed to promote energy saving action among householders.

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