AQW 24843/17-22 – Lower utility costs for social housing

Mr Patsy McGlone (Mid Ulster): To ask the Minister for Communities what mechanisms are in place for social housing providers to ensure that their tenants have access to a competitive utility market.

Minister for Communities: My Department’s responsibility is to ensure that social housing properties have a fit for purpose heating system. The current Housing Executive policy is to install mains gas heating where the infrastructure is available and where installation is technically feasible. However, given the limitations of the current gas infrastructure, a range of other types of heating system are installed in Housing Executive homes.

With the current energy transition my Department and the Housing Executive are focused on research and pilot programmes in order to review the Housing Executive Heating Policy over the next two years, and will be guided by solutions which are sustainable, low/zero carbon, and affordable to the householder.

My Department has no remit to promote the use of one energy supplier over another. You may wish to contact the Utility Regulator in this regard.