Home heating oil prices in Northern Ireland are over £1 per litre, more than double the ten-year average price, and prices have only been higher for one week this decade according to the Consumer Council’s weekly heating oil survey.
The Consumer Council has also published its weekly petrol and diesel price tracker today which shows that the average price of diesel and petrol in Northern Ireland are at an all-time high of 196.0p and 189.3p respectively.
Peter McClenaghan, Director of Infrastructure and Sustainability at the Consumer Council, said: “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.
"Home heating oil now costs over £1 per litre, more than double the ten-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 financial support announced by the Chancellor will help pensioners, people with disabilities, and those on qualifying benefits. We know how desperate many people are for that support and we would encourage recipients, if you can, plan for heating your home this winter when deciding how to use the money you receive in July.
"There is also an express need for clarity if, how, and when the Chancellor’s £400 energy support package will be made available everyone in Northern Ireland.
"Regarding fuel prices, the Consumer Council is engaging with the Competition and Markets Authority to ensure Northern Ireland consumers’ interests are represented in their upcoming review of the fuel price market and to share our experience of running the Northern Ireland Fuel Price Checker which the AA believe should be rolled out across the UK.”
Consumers can access information and advice about managing their household bills by visiting www.consumercouncil.org.uk/costofliving.