By Rebecca Black (PA)
Home heating oil prices in Northern Ireland are more than double the 10-year average, the Consumer Council has said.
With the cost now more than £1 per litre, prices have only been higher for one week this decade, according to the Consumer Council’s weekly heating oil survey.
It said the average price for 500 litres of home heating oil in the region is now £524.44.
It also found that the average price of diesel and petrol in Northern Ireland are at all-time highs of 196.0p and 189.3p respectively.
With gas and electricity prices also rising, the Consumer Council said the combined effect means the average household will have to find an extra £1,300 or more for bills in the year ahead.
Peter McClenaghan, director of infrastructure and sustainability at the Consumer Council, said the price rises are having a devastating impact.
“Global increases in the price of purchasing and refining the crude oil that makes home heating oil, petrol and diesel are having a devastating impact in Northern Ireland, given we are the most car-dependent UK region, our incomes are lower than the UK average, and two-thirds of us use home heating oil,” he said.
“Home heating oil now costs over £1 per litre – more than double the 10-year average price – and prices have only been higher for one week this decade. In addition, some forecourts here are now selling diesel for more than £2 per litre.
“The combined effect of heating, electricity and fuel price increases mean the average Northern Ireland consumer will have to find an extra £1,300 or more for bills in the year ahead.
“This is clearly awful news for many people. We speak to consumers every day who are worried about the winter ahead.”
The Consumer Council said it is engaging with the Competition and Markets Authority to ensure Northern Ireland consumers’ interests are represented in its forthcoming review of the fuel price market.
Consumers can access information and advice about managing their household bills by visiting https://www.consumercouncil.org.uk/costofliving