Minister backs our energy campaign
Social Development Minister Margaret Ritchie has backed the Save Energy Save Money campaign which is running in the Belfast Telegraph all this week.
Tomorrow, the Belfast Telegraph will be giving away thousands of free energy-saving lightbulbs in selected outlets as part of a team effort with NIE Energy.
Welcoming the campaign, Ms Ritchie said the Government recognises the importance of promoting energy efficiency, given that the world's natural resources are finite - and pledged to future-proof all new social houses against fuel poverty by making them more energy efficient.
"The less we use today, the more will be available for future generations," the Minister added.
"From April, I will increase my Department's spending on fuel poverty by a further £0.5m bringing the Department's commitment to tackling fuel poverty to £35.4m.
"Alongside this, I will future-proof all new social houses against fuel poverty by ensuring that those built from this month will be required to meet standards that will mean that they will be 25% more energy efficient.
"My department will continue to examine the potential for extending innovation partnership arrangements with Northern Ireland Electricity and others to speed up the replacement of Economy 7 heating systems, targeting those with particular health needs and piloting renewable energy technologies as a means of tackling rural fuel poverty."
Tomorrow, any reader who buys a Belfast Telegraph at selected outlets will receive a free Osram Duluxstar 15w (65w equivalent) energy saving light bulb worth at least £3.99.
If each reader replaced a standard 65W bulb with the free energy saving bulb, they could save around £7 a year over the lifetime of the bulb, based on the light being on four hours a day.
The big giveaway will save more than 500 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year, reducing Northern Ireland's contribution of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and slashing our contribution to climate change.