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Northern Ireland 'set for energy crisis'

A campaign to get Northern Ireland households to save energy and the environment is to be launched.

A report has said the year 2050 could see more flooding, decimation of the farming industry and the spread of diseases unless we cut back.

Noel Williams of the Energy Saving Trust said more than a quarter of the harmful carbon dioxide emissions which cause climate change come from the energy used in homes.

The report - Forecasting the Future - is being launched as Energy Efficiency Week gets under way on Monday.

It said Northern Ireland's "addiction to fossil fuels" was leading toward a climate change crisis.

Mr Williams said: "Forecasting the Future paints a disturbing picture of what could happen to the environment if we don't act today.

"Without a drastic reduction in our energy use, emissions of carbon dioxide (C02) - one of the leading contributors to climate change - could have disastrous results for Northern Ireland.

"It's imperative that households in Northern Ireland become more aware of the energy they use in their homes and act now to reduce C02 omissions.

"This can be as simple as turning thermostats down by one degree, replacing ordinary lightbulbs with low energy ones or even walking to the shops instead of taking the car."

Meanwhile, Belfast Energy Efficiency Advice Centre has teamed up with the Energy Saving Trust, NIE, Phoenix Gas and the Housing Executive to draw attention to the need to save energy in winter.

It said each home in Northern Ireland produced at least six tons of carbon dioxide from energy used.

Siobhan Purnell, marketing manager at the Belfast Advice Centre, said: "We are holding an Open Day at the Advice Centre on May Street, Belfast this Friday 29 October.

"Every visitor will receive a free home energy check with information on the many grants that are available in Northern Ireland and the first 100 visitors will receive a free low energy light bulb.

"We want everyone to be aware of energy efficiency and how simple steps can make a big difference."

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