Elderly urged to avoid turning off lights in bid to save electricity

Elderly urged to avoid turning off lights in bid to save electricity

Vivienne Clarke

A professor of energy systems engineering has warned elderly people not to turn off lights in a bid to save electricity.

“Don't be switching off lights, the last thing we need is elderly people falling over. Six LED lights cost 9c for seven hours,” Aoife Foley told Newstalk’s Pat Kenny show.

“Don't have them all on, have adequate lighting,” she urged.


Professor Foley also called on homeowners and business owners with smart meters to contact their energy provider so they can avail of off-peak tariffs.

Smart meters record and export data every 30 minutes to the retailer, but also will provide interval data - the electricity consumed day (8am to 11pm), night (11pm to 8am) and at peak times (5pm to 7pm).

The smart meter also collects data about how electricity is performing which is then sent annually to the CRU, she explained.

However, Prof Foley expressed concern that the message was not getting through to homeowners or business owners with smart meters that they needed to contact their electricity provider so they can avail of smart metering tariffs.


“What I don't understand is why don't they have Saturday or Sunday or hours that would facilitate people putting on appliances - if you look at the hours they're 5pm to 7pm and you'd have to be putting on your dishwasher at 7pm or your tumble dryer or your washing machine at 7pm or 8pm so you could avail of your tariff.

"Most people are going to have an energy issue this winter, that's why they're getting back up generators.

“Commuters are getting up at 6.30am – they get home late in the evening, the last thing on their mind is putting on their tumble dryer to avail of something they don't understand as they haven't got much information and therein lies the problem. There's been a lack of information.

“If I ask someone what their broadband plan is or their mobile plan, how many minutes do they have, they can tell me off the top of their head, but I think we've taken electricity or gas and heating for granted and we haven't thought of the bigger financial implications - it's a much larger bill but we don't get the information.”