Mrs T, pensioner living outside Newtownards. Mrs T had contacted Power NI as she had just received notification of an increase in her monthly direct debit, and was struggling with her bills. When we called out with Mrs T, it was clear that she had been having a difficult time. Her husband had recently passed away after an illness, and in the middle of everything she had also become unwell, and now had carers coming in to look after her. She was obviously upset at what was happening in her life, but she appreciated the additional help Power NI were providing her.
She was concerned that her usage had increased and had thought it would have reduced after her husband passed away. We discussed what she was using and what she had been using. When her husband was unwell, he was living at home and did have additional medical equipment, including a hospital bed. Her usage was a bit on the higher side, but looking at previous bills it had been higher for a while. It was difficult to work out exactly what was causing the issue, but we were able to advise on low energy lighting options, and also on the impact that extra refrigeration might cause (she had a chest freezer in an outbuilding).
Mrs T decided that she would switch off the chest freezer and see if that would make an impact on her electric bill. We also arranged to carry out a follow up visit in a few months when another bill had been issued. Her usage had remained high, but when contacted by phone to arrange, Mrs T seemed content with her usage, and was happy to give it some time. A copy of her previous bill amounts and meter reads were supplied to her and she was advised she could contact us again for further advice at any stage.
Mrs M contacted the Bryson Energy Advice Line to enquire about topping up her loft insulation as she felt the house was cold. She was given advice on topping up her loft insulation and when on the call advised on cavity insulation and her heating system. She said her walls were already insulated but that her heating was always breaking down and because it was in her kitchen there was always a strong smell of oil. We took all her details and sign posted Mrs M to the NISEP scheme to get loft insulation and her heating upgraded as she rented privately and heating system was over 15 years and her income was below the threshold.
She then was contacted to say a survey was being carried out to the property and that she would be getting her loft insulation topped up, the boiler would be moved outside and her old oil tank taken away to install a new oil tank.
“The work started a few weeks later and the process from start to finish took only 2 days. They removed the old boiler from the kitchen and installed a new condensing boiler outside and fitted new heating controls. They also put the new bunded oil tank away from my shed. The loft was also topped up when the heating installation was complete”. She also added that “the workmen were very professional and nothing seemed to be a hassle as the weather at that time was very wet. They cleaned the house as they went along and worked late into the second day to get all done. Before leaving the heating was working and the workman showed me how to use the new heating controls and set the programme timer for me”.
“The difference in heating my home now is massive, when putting the new condensing boiler on along with the loft insulation being topped up the house heats very quickly and stays warm for longer. I would just like to thank Bryson Energy Advice Line for advising me of the scheme and everyone who carried out the work”.