Choice recognises that our activities have an environmental impact and we have put measures in place to manage that impact.

Using Energy Wisely

Energy Efficient Homes from Choice

Choice manages some of the most energy efficient homes in Northern Ireland with an average EPC Energy Efficiency Rating of around 76 (Band C), compared to the Northern Ireland average of 60 (Band D). We continue to carry out improvements every year, with measures including; insulation upgrades, replacement windows and doors, heating replacements and lighting upgrades.

In recent years we have also invested in Solar Panels to generate electricity at some of our sheltered housing schemes, and as a result were recognised as the “National Green Champion” for Ireland at the 2015 Green Apple Awards.

Choice develops new homes to exceptionally high standards and in recent years has delivered some of the most energy efficient schemes in the country, including the first certified social housing passive house scheme in Ireland and the first housing development in Northern Ireland built to Level five of The Code for Sustainable Homes. Our Code Level Five Housing Scheme was recognised at the 2018 CIBSE Building Performance Awards as the Residential Project of the Year in the UK.

Advice on how to save energy

We can all make small changes to how we live to reduce energy costs and our impact on the environment.  Some tips are as follows:

Reduce your heating and hot water Costs

  1. Don’t leave windows open for long periods of time.  Windows need to be opened in most homes to provide adequate ventilation, but leaving windows open all day can cool your home, increasing your heating costs.
  2. Close your curtains at dusk to help keep heat in your home.
  3. Check the wall thermostat in your home, if you have one.  The recommended temperature should be around 18-21°C, so try keeping it at the lowest level that you feel comfortable at.
  4. Make sure your radiators are not obstructed by curtains or furniture.
  5. If drying clothes inside, use a clothes rail instead of hanging them over a radiator which would block heat from your room. When possible try to dry clothes outside to avoid increasing moisture in your home.
  6. Consider taking a shower instead of a bath when possible, as this can reduce your heating (hot water) costs and saves water.
  7. Become familiar with how to use the heating controls in your home.

Further information is available from the energy section of our website, with an energy booklet available to download along with various guides in relation to ventilation and heating controls.

If you have storage heaters in your home then the Energy Saving Trust in Scotland have produced this helpful video on how to use them.

Reduce your electricity costs

  1. Always turn off your lights when you leave a room.
  2. Only boil as much water as you need - but remember to cover the element if you're using an electric kettle.
  3. Switch off your appliances - don't leave them on standby or charging unnecessarily.
  4. Use the "half load" or "economy" function on your washing machine, tumble dryer or dishwasher when possible.
  5. Don’t leave the fridge door open and try to avoid putting hot or warm food straight into your fridge.
  6. When using your cooker, select the right size of ring on your hob for the pot you are using, and cook with a lid that is suitable for your pot.
  7. When purchasing electrical appliances try to choose those with the highest energy ratings on their energy label, as these will be the most efficient.
  8. When replacing light bulbs consider using LEDs

Energy Advice in your Home

Choice have an energy management team who may be able to provide further support on energy efficiency, using heating controls and comparing energy providers. For more information please contact us on 0300 111 2211 or email us at energy@choice-housing.org

For more information on how to save energy please contact the Northern Ireland Energy Advice Line on 0800 111 4455