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01st July 2005

COAL PRICE INCREASE UNWELCOME

<p>The Consumer Council says the six per cent increase in coal prices announced today is a blow to the 120,000 coal consumers in Northern Ireland. Someone using two bags of the most popular coal will now pay an extra £60 a year to heat their home.</p>

Jo Stevenson, Head of Energy at the Consumer Council said: “This is unwelcome news for local consumers.  Although the number of people using coal to heat their homes is dropping, it is still an important fuel for Northern Ireland. 

“We recognise that worldwide demand and increasing freight costs are pushing up the cost of coal and that the increase could have been much higher.  But many families on low incomes who have no alternative heating source will find even this increase a burden on the family budget.”

The Consumer Council is advising consumers to get more for every pound they spend on fuel by being as energy efficient as possible – free advice is available from your local energy efficiency advice centre on 0800 512012.

ENDS

  1. Consumer Council media contact: Susie Brown, telephone, 028 9067 4807 or e-mail, [email protected]
  2. The Consumer Council is an independent consumer organisation, working to bring about change to benefit Northern Ireland's consumers. The Council campaigns for high standards of service and protection and a fair deal for all. It also carries out research, gives advice and publishes reports and other publications. It deals with individual complaints about electricity, natural gas, coal and passenger transport.
  3. For more information, visit our website at www.gccni.org.uk
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