Coleraine homes go on energy diet

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NORTHERN Ireland Electricity is inviting people in the Somerset, Greenhall Highway, Wheatsheaf Road and surrounding areas of Coleraine to get ‘Smart’ with energy this year.

The company launched its ‘Shift & Save‘ trial in Coleraine last week, the first of its kind in Northern Ireland. The two year trial, supported by Coleraine Borough Council, will involve swapping existing electricity meters with a new ‘Smart Digital meter’ that will monitor a household’s electricity use, showing customers how much electricity they are using and how much it is costing, allowing them to be more energy efficient.

Speaking at the launch, Christine Baker, NIE Customer Liaison Officer, said: “This trial will help us to understand how Smart meters and Smart grid technology could change a households energy usage patterns.

“We want to help homeowner’s save money by ‘shifting’ the times they do things, such as using their washing machine, which helps spread the usage on our network and reduces peak electricity demand at certain times of the day.”

Roger Wilson, Chief Executive at Coleraine Borough Council, supports the trial and said: “I am really pleased that Coleraine will be part of Northern Ireland’s first Smart meter trial and I would encourage local people to take advantage of this great opportunity.

“Not only will they be helping NIE shape the future of the electricity network but they could make long term savings by becoming more aware of how and when they use energy, this is particularly welcome during a time when we are all feeling the pinch as energy costs go up.”

Coleraine has been selected by NIE for the trial as the electricity usage in this area rises sharply on weekdays between 4pm and 7pm.

For taking part NIE will send customers a cheque for £25. Providing customers stay in the trial for the second year they may be able to accumulate savings by shifting the times they use electricity and at the end of the trial NIE will pay volunteers these savings up to a maximum of £75.

It’s easy to get involved, won’t cost anything and you can opt out at anytime. You can register by contacting us at 08457 643 643, online at www.nie.co.uk/shiftandsave or by email at shiftandsave@nie.co.uk.