19th April, 2012 13:21
The parish of Annaclone was buzzing with energy recently, as Power NI and the Annaclone Community Engagement group hosted an Energy Awareness evening for all local residents.
The event was part of the BIG Energy Saving Challenge which the Annaclone Community Engagement is one of six finalists competing for the chance to win £20,000 of energy saving funding for their community.
All of the different stakeholders and community groups were represented as ACE group members involved with the BIG Energy Saving Challenge gave advice to those present about the benefits of saving energy.
Representatives from Power NI also gave a presentation on the wide range of products and services offered to customers alongside the community’s new nominated energy advisor, Aldo Fusiardi, who has recently completed a City & Guilds training course in Energy Awareness.
Neil Coleman from Power NI said, “The energy awareness evening in Annaclone was a massive success, to have such a large crowd come out on a Friday evening to support the BIG Energy Saving Challenge is what the competition is all about.
“The community of Annaclone has really come together for this challenge and it has been a pleasure working alongside so many of their dedicated members, helping them learn about energy saving.”
Bronagh Rafferty from Annaclone Community Engagement added, “We are delighted with the success of the energy awareness evening, we feel that everyone who attended has benefitted from some useful information that can contribute to the challenge, and we would like to thank Power NI for their advice and support.”
The group also launched their new energy saving booklet at the event with some excellent tips and advice for saving energy and money in the home as well as help available from Power NI.
The final of the BIG Energy Saving Challenge and the announcement of the winning community group will be held on Monday 25 June in the Armagh City Hotel.
6th April, 2012 13:46
Miss Morris (P7 teacher, St. Columban’s Primary), Oisin Leonard (St. Columban’s Primary), Aidan Cox (Principal, St. Columban’s Primary), Kirsty Pollock (Power NI) and Neil Coleman (Power NI)
Oisin Leonard from St. Columban’s Primary School, Belcoo has won Power NI’s BIG Picture Competition, picking up a Nintendo 3DS as first prize for his eye catching ‘Save the energy’ entry.
Oisin’s winning entry was chosen from an impressive number of entries and shows the various methods in which families can save energy and money by being more energy efficient around the home.
The competition was part of the BIG Energy Saving Challenge project which his local community group Mullaghdun Community Association is one of the six finalists, competing for £20,000 of energy saving funding for their area.
Aidan Cox Principal of St. Columban’s Primary School said “We recently had the pleasure of meeting Kirsty and Neil from the Power NI Team when they visited St. Columban’s to present one of our Key Stage 2 pupils, Oisin Leonard, with his winning prize.
“The pupils have gained a lot by learning about energy efficiency and renewable technologies. We thank Power NI for their wonderful initiative.”
Kirsty Pollock from Power NI added “We had some fantastic entries for the BIG Picture Competition in Fermanagh and it was an extremely difficult to pick a winner, but Oisin’s colourful entry definitely stood out for our judging panel.
“We hope he enjoys his prize and continues to be an ambassador for energy saving in his local area.”
6th April, 2012 8:12
Les O’Donnell from Transition Omagh; Helen O’Hanlan, Art Teacher at Dean Maguirc College; Aoife Dobbs – winning pupil and Wilma Stewart, Power NI.
Aoibhean Gill from St. Patrick’s Primary School, Eskra and Aoife Dobbs from Dean Maguirc College, Carrickmore have scooped top prizes in Power NI’s BIG Picture Competition.
Aoibhean, winner of the primary school age category, picked up a Nintendo 3DS as first prize for her eye catching ‘Think twice about energy’ entry while Aoife, winner in the secondary school age category, got her hands on the latest Ipod nano for her ‘energy efficiency tips’ picture.
The girls’ winning pictures were chosen from an impressive number of entries, both showing the various ways in which families can save energy and money by being more energy efficient around the home.
The competition was part of Power NI’s BIG Energy Saving Challenge project which local community group Transition Omagh is one of the six finalists, competing for £20,000 of energy saving funding for their area.
Commenting on the winning entries, Les O’Donnell from Transition Omagh said, “We are delighted that Aoibhean and Aoife have won these fantastic prizes. We recognise the importance of getting young people involved in energy saving and this competition was a great way of doing that.”
Kirsty Pollock from Power NI added “We received some very impressive entries from the Omagh pupils, but Aoibhean and Aoife’s pictures stood out as they contained some practical energy saving tips.
We hope the girls enjoy their prizes and continue to be ambassadors for energy saving in their local area.”
28th March, 2012 8:48
Kirsty Pollock from Power NI presents the new Drumarg Energy Booklet to members of the Drumarg Community Association
Members from the Drumarg Community Association will soon be hitting the streets with Power NI to promote their new energy saving booklet, which is part of their BIG Energy Saving Challenge campaign.
Drumarg Community Association are one of six finalists in Power NI’s BIG Energy Saving Challenge in which community groups from across Northern Ireland are competing for £20,000 of energy saving funding for their area.
Group members will be visiting all homes in the Drumarg area and surrounding estates to provide them with their complimentary booklet, packed with energy saving tips and information, as well as a Power NI temperature card.
Commenting on the energy booklet launch, Neil Coleman from Power NI said “The Drumarg Community have shown great initiative by hitting the streets to deliver some excellent advice with a personal touch on how to save energy and money in their homes.”
Group leader Stephen McCleary said: “The booklets are a superb way of getting our message out to the homes in the area, we are working to help the local community and our next stage will be to improve our community house.”
As part of the BIG Energy Saving Challenge, Power NI has funded insulation for homes in the area as well as boiler servicing and carbon monoxide alarms, the community house in Drumarg has also benefited by the installation of loft insulation, energy saving lights and energy efficient appliances.
12th March, 2012 14:34
Pictured at the prize giving are Bronagh Rafferty (Annaclone Community Engagement), Kirsty Pollock (Power NI), Niamh McKay, Miss McGrillen (St. Colman’s Primary), Neil Coleman (Power NI).
Budding artist Niamh McKay from St. Colman’s Primary School, Annaclone has won Power NI’s BIG Picture Competition, picking up a Nintendo 3DS as first prize for her eye catching ‘energy man’ collage entry.
Niamh’s winning entry was chosen from an impressive number of entries and shows the various ways in which families can save energy and money by being more energy efficient around the home.
The competition was part of the BIG Energy Saving Challenge project which her local community group Annaclone Community Engagement is one of the six finalists, competing for £20,000 of energy saving funding for their area.
Commenting on the winning entry, Bronagh Rafferty from the Annaclone group said “We are delighted for Niamh and it’s a fantastic way to get children involved in energy saving as part of our wider project.”
Neil Coleman from Power NI said “We had some fantastic entries for the BIG Picture Competition and it was an extremely difficult to pick a winner, but Niamh’s entry showcased creative and innovative ways to save energy and money.
“We hope she enjoys her prize and continues to be an ambassador for energy saving in her local area.”
The Annaclone Community Engagement are continuing to promote their BIG Energy Saving Challenge campaign and will be hosting an energy information night on Friday 23 March at 8pm in the Annaclone Hall for all local groups to attend.
22nd February, 2012 10:07
Neil Coleman from Power NI with Annaclone Community Engagement member Catherine McMurchaidh and daughter Róise.
Annaclone Community Engagement, one of the six finalists in Power NI’s BIG Energy Saving Challenge, are continuing their pursuit of winning the competition by encouraging group members to get their houses in order!
The rural group based outside of Katesbridge has invested part of their £7,500 initial funding from the Challenge back into their community by installing both loft and cavity wall insulation, into homes of the group members.
The group has passed the half-way point of the BIG Energy Saving Challenge, in which the winning energy saving community will be awarded £20,000 to improve energy efficiency in their community, and the competition is really starting to heat up.
With the countdown on until the announcement of the winning community in June, group members will soon be hitting the streets in the area and giving out information and energy saving advice to local residents to help boost their chances of winning the top prize.
Neil Coleman from Power NI said “We are delighted with the progress that Annaclone has made in such a short space of time, they have really taken to energy saving challenges and the enthusiasm from the groups members’ has been amazing!
“They’ve been coming up with some innovative ideas to promote their Challenge within the community and are now determined to go on and win the competition.” Added Neil.
You can follow the progress of the Annaclone Community Engagement online at www.powerni.co.uk/besc
13th February, 2012 15:13
Article from reproduced courtesy of the Banbridge Leader. By Aine Fox (firstname.lastname@example.org)
AS soon as you realise that boiling the kettle for one hour each day could end up costing you more than ten pounds a month, it’s safe to say you might take the notion of energy-saving a little more seriously.
The residents of Annaclone have spent the last few months switching off lights, having quicker showers – and even preparing special lights for their village Christmas tree to do just that.
The energy-saving drive began in early summer when Power NI (formerly NIE Energy) granted the local community group – one of only six to be chosen from across Northern Ireland – £7,500 worth of funding to help with plans to cut energy costs through loft insulation, boiler servicing and and the use of energy monitors.
Since the launch of the Big Energy-Saving Challenge, all 20 families have cut their electricity bills dramatically, and are now urging others to take the energy-saving issue seriously.
Patricia McKay, whose first bill since the scheme began came in at half the cost she had been used to, said her new best friend is the energy monitor perched in the kitchen.
While discreet in size, the monitor has become a big part of family life in the McKay household in recent times. Patricia, her husband Adrian and their three daughters are now well aware that all it takes are simple steps to make super savings.
“When I got my first quarterly bill I couldn’t believe it,” Patricia, a member of Annaclone Community Engagement Group, said.
“I came to the meeting after we all got our bills and everyone’s had dropped. But to halve my bill by making simple changes in the house was just incredible.”
Patricia began by swapping a six-bulb chandelier in her living room for one energy-saving bulb. And when she installed the Owl Energy monitor in her kitchen the ability to spot exactly how much it cost every time the fridge door was opened, someone switched on the hairdryer or the television was left on, made them sit up and take note.
“I had heard about energy-saving before and thought it was probably a good idea but it never went any further than that,” said the Annaclone mum. “But when things are transferred into an actual amount of money that is being wasted every time you leave something on without needing to it really is a wake-up call.
“My first bill fell by £150 and my second by £100. Taking into account the fact we’re using more heat and electricity coming into winter I think that is a real achievement.”
Fellow group member Aldo Fusciardi, whose wife Geraldine and four children are all part of the scheme, said preaching about energy-saving doesn’t really work until someone installs a monitor and realises the true cost of wasted electricity.
“One of the worst things is the kettle,” he said. “People tend to fill the kettle every time they go to make a cup of tea – but you should only boil as much water as you are actually going to use. Otherwise it’s a total waste.
“I think it is everyone’s responsibility to try and save energy – but without the monitors it’s more difficult because you don’t have that constant reminder.”
Patricia said checking the monitor has become a habit now.
“When we first got it we went round the house switching things on and seeing what was costing us the most money,” she said. “But now I find that if the cost shoots up on the monitor I will usually automatically know what’s on – and who is using it,” she laughed.
Children in St Colman’s primary school are currently taking part in Power NI’s Big Picture Competition – something which Aldo said helps them to avoid getting into bad habits in the first place.
“The young ones have taken to this really well,” he said. “They are actually better than the adults a lot of the time because they are being educated about all of this from a young age.”
Neil Coleman, Power NI’s project co-ordinator, said they are delighted to be working with groups in the local area.
“We’ve been really pleased with the progress of the Annaclone group and we’re currently working on using the £7,500 of funding for their homes,” said Neil.
“We will continue to assist and mentor the group through the rest of their energy saving journey. We’re also working with the Banbridge and Craigavon branch of the Chest, Heart and Stroke association and at the end of the year-long challenge, each of the six groups will receive another £7,500 for communities, with the most successful energy saving group winning a fantastic total of £20,000!”
For further information on the Challenge visit www.powerni.co.uk/besc.
23rd December, 2011 10:28
Neil Coleman and Kirsty Pollock from Power NI with Mick O'Reilly from Action Renewables and Jim Kitchen from Transition Town Whitehead in the TuneFM studio.
Transition Town Whitehead took to the airwaves to promote their BIG Energy Saving Challenge campaign this week on local youth radio station TuneFM.
The local radio station is running from Genesis Youth Club in Whitehead and will be broadcasting local news and music on 105.3FM all this week.
On Wednesday, Jim Kitchen from Transition Town Whitehead hosted an hour long ‘energy’ show, informing listeners about the benefits of energy saving and help available to improve their home’s energy efficiency.
Local resident and group member Noel McKee spoke about his recent ‘home energy audit’ which was funded through the BIG Energy Saving Challenge whilst Mick O’Reilly from Action Renewables discussed the benefits of audits for the homeowners.
Neil Coleman from Power NI also spoke about the background of the BIG Energy Saving Challenge and updated listeners with news from across the groups and the progress of Transition Town Whitehead in their energy saving campaign.
19th December, 2011 14:10
A reminder that closing date for entries for the ‘BIG Picture’ Competition is just over a month away with all submissions having to be in before 31st January, 2012.
To help young people get ‘switched on’ to the benefits of energy saving, Power NI launched the ‘BIG Picture’ Competition and have been calling on young people to express their creative side with some great prizes on offer.
Power NI are looking for entrants to paint, draw, colour-in or even photograph their interpretation of energy saving in their area. This could be anything from wind turbines to solar panels; the Power NI judging panel are looking for the most original ideas!
The competition is divided into two age sections for primary and secondary school pupils, and is open to all individuals within the local area. The winners from the Primary School section can win a new Nintendo 3DS while the Secondary School section will be competing for a new iPod.
The competition will be split into two age categories – primary and secondary.
Entrants are asked to paint, sketch or take a picture of their interpretation of ‘Saving Energy’
The aim of the competition is to raise awareness of energy efficiency amongst children and teenagers and encourage them to save energy at home.
Two winners will be chosen in each ‘Big Energy Saving Challenge’ group area, one from each age category.
Each winner will receive a prize. Winners in the primary age category will win a Nintendo DS and the winners in the secondary age category will win an i-pod.
Terms and Conditions
1. The competition is open to all children of primary and secondary school age.
2. The picture/photograph must show the entrants interpretation of how to save energy in the home or community.
3. Entrants may only submit one picture/photograph each.
4. Pictures may be drawn in pencil, felt tip, crayon or painted.
5. Photographs entered must be taken in the UK.
6. Each entry should be submitted of a sheet of plain A3 or A4 paper, either portrait or landscape.
7. Images may be digitally enhance to remove spots or scratches but not manipulated. Entrants may enhance the picture to make it brighter, clearer etc but not manipulate the content. Power NI reserve the right to exclude any image they believe may have been excessively treated so as to alter its authenticity.
8. Entrants must attach their name, address, contact phone number, date of birth, school and class to their picture. Power NI will only ever use these personal details for the purposes of administering this scheme.
9. Entries should be sent to: Kirsty Pollock, Power NI, Woodchester House, 50 Newforge Lane, Belfast, BT9 5NW.
10. The competition closes on 31st January, 2012. Entries received after this date will not be considered.
11. The competition is open to Northern Ireland residents only.
12. Power NI cannot accept any responsibility for any problem with the postal service which may result in an entry being lost or delayed.
13. A panel of judges will select the winning entries. When making their final decision the judges will take into account creativity, artistic merit as well as the pictures relevance to the theme. The judge’s decision is final.
14. Unsuccessful entrants will not be contacted and no feedback on an entry will be provided.
15. The competition winners will be notified by telephone within a month of the closing date.
16. Prizes are non-transferable and will only be awarded to the prize winner. No cash equivalent is available as an alternative to the prizes offered.
17. The winners name and picture may be used by Power NI in promotional material.
18. Power NI reserves the right to amend rules prior to the closing date, after posting notice on the website.
19. For further questions please contact email@example.com.
14th December, 2011 12:10
Kirsty Pollock from Power NI helps some of the local children from the Annaclone community switch on their energy saving Christmas tree lights.
Annaclone Community Engagement lit up their first ever community Christmas tree last week with a new set of festive energy saving LED lights.
The lights were purchased by Power NI for the community centre as part of the BIG Energy Saving Challenge, which the Annaclone group are one of the six finalists.
There was a large turn out of local residents at the festive event which proved to be a great success. The night started with carol singing and then Santa arrived on his tractor to help switch on the Christmas tree lights.
Kirsty Pollock from Power NI said “These LED Christmas lights may just be a small energy saving measure but it shows that Annaclone are taking this challenge seriously and incorporating energy efficiency in all aspects of the community.”
The Annaclone group have already been working hard with Power NI to prepare their homes for winter with the group members already having their boilers serviced and are currently getting both cavity wall and loft insulation installed through their £7,500 funding.
Big plans are already being put in place for the rural County Down village for 2012 and you can follow their progress at www.powerni.co.uk/besc.