‘Reduce Your Use’: Government launches nationwide campaign to encourage energy efficiency and highlight supports available for households and businesses
The Government has today launched a new nationwide public information campaign – ‘Reduce Your Use’ – to promote and encourage efficiency and to highlight the range of supports that are available to households and businesses.
Emerging from the pandemic, international social and economic activity has ramped up demands on energy across the globe. In addition to the urgent humanitarian crisis, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has brought about new energy challenges – right across Europe. This has resulted in significant increases in the price of oil and natural gas which has, in turn, led to higher retail prices for petrol, diesel, heating oil, gas and electricity – not just in Ireland, but internationally.
In response, the Government has introduced a suite of measures over recent months – to assist households and businesses in coping with higher energy costs.
Last week, the Government published a new National Energy Security Framework. It provides an overarching and comprehensive response to Ireland’s energy security needs, in the context of the war in Ukraine. The nationwide ‘Reduce Your Use’ campaign is a key part of the Government’s wider approach, under this Framework.
Prominent public information campaign
The initial phase of the public information campaign will run for the next four weeks, with ads running in print, on radio and across social media. The campaign will be phased over the coming year, tailored for different seasons, activities and energy demands.
It will highlight how war and conflicts are affecting energy costs across Europe and how, now, more than ever, we need to be mindful of how we use energy in our daily lives – from the moment we wake until we switch off the lights at night. The campaign has a mobilising message that people can take actions in their own homes, and together reduce the impact of rising energy costs and wider international energy challenges.
Practical and evidence-based
Energy efficiency advice within the campaign is provided by experts at the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI). It is practical and evidenced-based, detailing what actions can help to save the most money and energy. The advice targets four key areas:
- Heating: Use timers and thermostats to heat your home and hot water when you need and to the temperature you need.
- Appliances: Use cookers, tumble dryers, washing machines, showers and kettles efficiently and where possible outside peak hours of 4-7pm.
- Travel: Avoid use of the car for short journeys; consider walking, cycling or public transport where available.
- Driving: Drive at lower speeds, where safe and practical, to reduce your fuel use.
Further tips and information will be available on the SEAI website (https://www.seai.ie/reduceyouruse/).
The campaign will also highlight the range of Government financial supports for households and businesses. The Government has been especially proactive in this regard, introducing a suite of targeted and universal supports that is among the most comprehensive across all EU Member States.
These supports include:
- 80% grants for attic and cavity wall insulation which will save the average house approximately €300 from the first year.
- €200 (including VAT) as a credit for all domestic electricity accounts;
- A reduction in VAT from 13.5% to 9% on gas and electricity bills from the start of May until the end of October, leading to estimated savings of €32 (electricity) and €11 (gas) on an average bill over six months;
- A reduction to zero of the Public Service Obligation (PSO) levy on electricity bills, leading to estimated savings of €59 from October of this year;
- An Excise Duty reduction on fuel – 20c/L for petrol; 15c/L for diesel; 4.7c/L for marked gas oil / green diesel;
- An increase in the Fuel Allowance of €355 – equating to €5/week, plus additional payments totalling €225.
- An €8 million support fund for hauliers, providing €100 for each lorry for eight weeks;
- Plus a committed €20 million in supports – for solar PV (Photo Voltaic) panels for households that have a high reliance on electricity for medical reasons.
International and European focus on efficiency
The Irish Government campaign comes on the back of the International Energy Agency’s (IEA’s) and the European Commission’s push to promote a range of simple steps that people can take to reduce their energy use and save money. If these steps were adopted by all EU citizens the institutions say it would save enough oil to fill 120 super tankers and enough natural gas to heat almost 20 million homes. In addition, individual Member States have also launched cost and energy-saving campaigns.
The Government of Ireland campaign also supports advice in the latest IPCC report on climate change (published on the 4th April, 2022), which estimates that energy efficiency can lead to reductions in emissions of between 40% and 70% by 2050 and that reducing energy use has always been an integral part of the global climate action plan.
Whole of Government campaign
The Irish ‘Reduce Your Use’ campaign will emphasise how Government, households, motorists, communities and businesses must all work together to overcome the immediate energy affordability challenges.
In addition to Government Departments, state energy agencies such as the Commission for the Regulation of Utilities (CRU), SEAI, Eirgrid, ESB Networks, Gas Networks Ireland (GNI) and others are partnering in this campaign, and will provide information about the specific supports and advice they can provide.
Information on Government supports and how to save money and energy is available at: www.gov.ie/ReduceYourUse. The hashtag for this campaign is: #ReduceYourUse.
NOTES TO THE EDITOR
National Energy Security Framework
The Government launched a new National Energy Security Framework on 13th April 2022. It provides an overarching and comprehensive response to Ireland’s energy security needs in the context of the war in Ukraine.
The National Energy Security Framework coordinates work on energy security across the oil, gas and electricity sectors, and sets out a ‘whole-of-Government’ response to energy security including a key focus on energy affordability.
The Framework sets out the Government’s action in response to these issues under key headings:
- Managing the impact on consumers and businesses;
- Ensuring security of energy supply in the near-term;
- Reducing our dependency on imported fossil fuels.
CONTACT DETAILS FOR FURTHER MEDIA QUERIES
Communications and Media Relations Division
Roinn Comhshaoil, Aeráide agus Cumarsáide
Department of Environment, Climate and Communications
29-31 Bóthar Adelaide, Baile Átha Cliath, D02 X285
29-31 Adelaide Road, Dublin, D02 X285
M +353 87 693 7580 T +353 (0)1 678 2418