Your consumer rights when you buy coal


Coal is sold by weight. The weight should be marked clearly on the bag. If you get your coal delivered from a company in open-topped bags, there should be a notice displayed on the lorry telling you the weight of the bag. It is a criminal offence to sell or deliver short weight.


The price of the coal should be displayed clearly.


Safety problems can arise from damaged fires or blocked chimneys, leading to carbon monoxide fumes. Have your chimneys swept at least once a year.

If you have concerns about the safety of coal fired heating, who to contact about safety issues will depend on who owns the property:

  • Owner-occupiers should contact the Environmental Health Department of their local Council
  • Housing Executive tenants should contact their NIHE District Office
  • Private tenants should contact their landlord.

Complaints about coal

If you've bought coal and you aren't happy with it, there is help available. Different organisations can help with different issues.

  • If you have an issue with weights and measures, such as buying a bag of coal that you think is short in weight, you should contact Trading Standards by calling Consumerline on 0300 123 6262.
  • If you have an issue with the quality of the coal, contact the person or shop that you bought it from.

If you have raised a complaint with the fuel supplier and are unhappy with the outcome, you can contact us at the Consumer Council and we will investigate the complaint on your behalf.

Contact us about your complaint here.