Whilst many people across Northern Ireland are making the most of the Great British Summer, the province’s Consumer Council is encouraging heating oil users in the province to prepare for Autumn and shop around for the most competitive deal on their heating oil. And to help heating oil users in Northern Ireland do just that, the Consumer Council has improved its weekly online home heating oil price survey, by doubling the numbers of towns represented.
Richard Williams, Head of Energy at the Consumer Council says, “Each week our survey indicates the price consumers can expect to pay across different regions in Northern Ireland, making it quick and easy for consumers to compare prices.
“With 68% of homes in Northern Ireland using home heating oil as their main source of heating, prices can vary from region to region as suppliers compete for consumers. Furthermore two thirds of consumers surveyed always buy their home heating oil from the same supplier meaning consumers could be paying more than they need to for oil and not benefitting from savings that can be made.”
The Consumer Council’s improved heating oil survey has been welcomed by OFTEC. David Blevings, OFTEC’s Manager in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland said, “This is timely given that we are seeing a reducing trend in the price of home heating oil over the past six months. The latest quarterly data from independent energy consultants Sutherland, the recognised independent source of comparative UK domestic heating costs, has revealed that oil prices in Northern Ireland have reduced by c.6.5% from January to April 2014. In real terms this reduction gives consumers an annual saving of £100 for a standard efficiency boiler, or £81 for a high efficiency condensing boiler, heating a typical 3 bed house on annual basis”.
The development has been welcomed by the Northern Ireland Oil Federation too. Speaking to OilFiredUp Rural Energy News, a spokesperson for NIOF which represents heating oil distributors in the province said, “We recently launched a Customer Charter in partnership with the Consumer Council and consumers are encouraged to ask if their distributor is a NIOF Member. The Customer Charter offers consumers information on what level of service they can expect from an NIOF member.
“The charter includes information on payment options, best value, energy efficiency and advice for vulnerable customers. It will also help customers get the most from an organisation’s services. As an industry body, NIOF welcomes any feedback on customer service or indeed suggestions for improving the oil delivery experience.”
The updated online price survey can be accessed by visiting the Northern Ireland Consumer Council website.