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Noel Rice, Energy Conservation Manager

Published: Mon, 26 Oct 2015
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Noel Rice is the Housing Executive's Energy Conservation Manager
I am...
Noel Rice, Energy Conservation Manager
I have been working in…
the Energy Conservation Unit for 19 years. When the unit was set up in 1996, coal was the predominant source of heating in Housing Executive homes. Since then we have seen natural gas, a much more efficient and less polluting fuel, become the main heat source in Housing Executive homes, followed by high efficiency oil boilers.
The Energy Conservation unit’s core aim is…
to ensure the Housing Executive has the right policies and programmes in place to improve the energy efficiency of all homes in Northern Ireland.
We have a number of objectives…
all of which are aimed at ensuring the Housing Executive meets its obligations as  the Home Energy Conservation Authority (HECA) for Northern Ireland.
Key elements of the unit’s work involve investigating new technologies, new funding mechanisms, developing new approaches to delivery and the promotion of the energy efficiency message through advice, information and education programmes.
The HECA role is sometimes perceived as being solely a Regional Services role simply because that is where the unit is based. However, the HECA role belongs to and is delivered across all Divisions of the Housing Executive.
Whilst our unit co-ordinates the role and provides the annual statutory report, the core programmes are delivered by the Housing Executive’s Landlord Services, Asset Management and Regional Services with support from both Corporate Services and Finance.
The most satisfying part of my work…
is helping people to improve the comfort of their home and save money.  It is exciting working in a sector which is constantly evolving, with new technologies and new approaches to delivery emerging.  Two recent projects which have been particularly satisfying are setting up Oil Buying Clubs, which make it much easier for tenants to budget for oil, and the privately financed solar PV project which is being rolled out across Northern Ireland on 1,000 of our properties.