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Energy efficiency education in Belfast schools

Published: Mon, 9 Mar 2015
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Katie McCrory, Eva Kelly and Mark Morrison from St Matthews Primary School, Belfast with Lawrence Speight from Bryson Energy.
Bryson Energy St Matthews PS
Does your TV use electricity when it’s on standby?
That was just one of the questions posed when our energy efficiency education programme recently visited St Matthews Primary School in Seaforde Street, East Belfast.
We the Home Energy Conservation Authority for Northern Ireland. Through a unique schools programme it teaches children how to be energy efficient so they can save energy and money - vital for helping to tackle fuel poverty.
Funded by us and delivered in partnership with Bryson Energy, the programme is designed to inspire children in Key Stage 2 (P5, P6 and P7) to address energy efficiency both in school and at home.
The programme aims to educate children about energy efficiency so they bring it home for the whole family to learn from. During the fun interactive session those taking part look at how energy is generated, learn about the different types of fuel, why insulation is used, what renewable energy is, the results of pollution, climate change, the effects of global warming and how to be more energy efficient in everyday activities.
The interactive programme uses quizzes and fact sheets to help build enthusiasm for energy efficiency. Children learn how the simplest thing - turning off lights, TVs and computer games when not in use - can make a significant difference. Before they leave, the Bryson team encourages the children to continue on their energy efficiency path through actively monitoring energy used in the classroom and at home and keeping a note of the results.
Noel Rice, our Energy Conservation Manager, is delighted with the programme and its results so far. He went on to say:
“We want to promote energy efficiency when and where we can. The issue of fuel poverty remains a major issue so we believe teaching children how to be energy efficient is more important than ever before.”
“By getting children involved in saving energy at a young age, they are not just learning for the future, but can start today saving money on energy costs within the home, reduce pollution and develop responsible attitudes towards the environment.”
Elaine Brownlee, an education advisor with Bryson Energy who works on the schools programme, commented:
"Bryson Energy is delighted to be working with the Housing Executive on this worthwhile and rewarding project.”
“The programme is popular with schools and pupils; there is always a waiting list for visits. School children are an enthusiastic audience and we find it a pleasure to work with them."
With regards to the TV being left on standby…yes, it is using electricity. According to the Energy Savings Trust the average home wastes up to £80 a year if appliances are left on standby.
Schools interested in a visit should contact Elaine at Bryson Energy 028 6634 0798 or email