Consider checking your oil tank advises Consumer Council

in Energy

Price of 500 litres of home heating oil has increased by 20% in last three months.

As winter approaches the Consumer Council is encouraging home heating oil households in Northern Ireland to check their tanks to see if they need an oil fill.

The Consumer Council’s weekly home heating oil survey has revealed that the average price of a 500 litre fill is currently £191.46. This is 20% more expensive than back in August 2016.

Richard Williams, Head of Energy at the Consumer Council said “As we head into the colder winter months it is advisable to check if you need a home heating oil fill. Knowing the average price in your area will enable you to see if you are being offered a good price when you shop around for your fuel, especially given that home heating oil prices have started to rise in recent weeks.”

The Consumer Council has provided some top tips to help with your energy bills this winter:

  • Always shop around for home heating oil to get the lowest price but remember to consider reliability of service, punctuality of delivery, payment terms and offers. Use our weekly online oil price checker to help you judge whether if you are getting a good deal - www.consumercouncil.org.uk;
  • If you can afford it, buy home heating oil in bulk. The more you buy the cheaper the price per litre. For example a 900 litre fill is 12% cheaper per litre than 300 litres;
  • Be aware that emergency oil drums are often three times the price (per litre) of a regular fill;
  • If you can’t afford to buy in bulk then look to see if there is an oil buying club or an oil stamp saving scheme in your area;
  • Regularly check how much oil you have left to avoid suddenly running out; and
  • Have your boiler serviced annually by a qualified, OFTEC registered technician to ensure it runs efficiently.

In addition to providing consumers with information concerning home heating oil prices, the Consumer Council has worked with the Northern Ireland Oil Federation (NIOF) to develop a Customer Charter which sets out minimum standards of service for consumers who buy oil from a NIOF member. Standards cover a range of issues including customer care, complaint procedures, and payment options.

To find out more visit www.consumercouncil.org.uk or to obtain a free copy of our ‘Switch On: Home Heating Oil ­­‘guide call 0800 121 6022.

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