Julia Erskine of 3Co Consultancy Services, and Ryan McDermott of RMD Electrical are dedicated Energy Doctors under the Energy Efficiency Scheme operated by the Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture (DEFA). The duo have received a warm reception, already providing over 300 free energy health checks in homes across the Island. For those eligible, they also issue and measure for energy-saving kit available through the scheme.

We spoke with Julia and Ryan to gauge the success of the service, talk though some of the measures and seek some expert tips.

What are the main barriers to people reducing their home energy consumption?

Largely awareness and understanding of energy efficiency and the benefits it can bring. Another is the upfront cost and uncertainty of fitting these technologies, even though they lead to long-term savings. Limited access to help and professional advice can hinder individuals from acting – this is where the Energy Doctor Service fits in. Our habits and behaviours also play a role, as people may find it difficult to adapt to energy-saving practices.

What types of homes can prove most problematic?

Older homes built before energy efficiency standards were established may lack proper insulation, have outdated heating systems, or inefficient appliances. These factors can lead to significant energy loss and increased energy demand. Large homes with expansive floor areas tend to require more energy to heat and cool. Homes with poor sealing or air leakage issues can experience heat loss in the winter and heat gain in the summer, resulting in higher energy bills. With changing climate extremes, we may need more energy to maintain comfortable temperatures year-round. Implementing measures, such as insulation upgrades, sealing air leaks, or sourcing energy-efficient appliances, can help lower bills and improve overall efficiency and comfort.

Some of the measures are quite new to some people – what are smart heating controls and the benefit to having them?

In simple terms, these are devices that allow you to control and automate your home’s heating system. They often consist of a smart thermostat and accompanying mobile app, enabling you to set your desired temperature, create schedules around your usage patterns, and monitor energy use. Smart heating controls offer convenience, make your home environment more comfortable and can lower your bills.

How far is the Energy Efficiency Scheme helping and what more is needed?

We have been thrilled by the positive feedback so far and the difference we have made in people’s lives. EES kit has also reached over 2500 homes, but more community engagement is needed to ensure it reaches people in need. It has had limited take-up from those who rent, live in local authority homes and the west of the island.

What would you say to someone who is still unsure how to get started?

Consider reaching out to our Energy Doctor Service for a free energy health check – it’s a simple and informative first step toward energy savings and a greener home. Households receive a thorough report of practical measures, some of which they can implement with ease on the same day as our audit.

Energy loss observations
Energy loss observations (-)

Find out more and apply for a visit: 


Freephone: 0800 1624 276