CUSTOMERS in Fermanagh have the most expensive home heating oil in the North, new research has revealed.
According to the Consumer Council’s home heating oil price checker, the average cost of 300L of oil is £309.37, 500L is £496.28 and 900L is £876.49.
Last week, 300L of heating oil was £328.52, 500L cost £526.96 and 900L was £929.46.
However, customers in Fermanagh and Omagh Council area have the most expensive home heating oil of all the districts, averaging £318.16 for 300L and £507.42 for 500L.
It was a fact that local SDLP councillor Paul Blake believed was only the tip of the iceberg as the winter months approached.
“Fermanagh people have the lowest average wage coming in so they will be even more badly affected. Many families will be put into a very difficult situation,” he said.
“The [weather] forecast is that it’s going to get colder and you can feel the temperature change already, but people are reluctant to put on their heating because of the cost of it.
“The most vulnerable in society shouldn’t have to suffer this winter as there are going to be tougher times ahead.”
The Government has announced a payment of £100 will be given to households across the UK who are not able to receive support for their heating costs through the Energy Price Guarantee, but councillor Blake considered this a ‘paltry sum’ to be given.
“A payment of £100 is an insult. Oil companies wouldn’t even deliver this amount of oil,” he said.
“It really is a paltry sum. It’s a complete and total failure by the British government and our own Northern Ireland Executive to address this problem over the past few months.
“The time has come for them to step up and help people.”
Meanwhile, the Consumer Council’s online fuel price checker shows the average price of petrol and diesel has dropped in Northern Ireland over the last seven days.
The average price of diesel is 177.4p – down from 178.3p – and petrol costs an average 161.6p, a drop from 163.5p.
It’s only small consolation though as the cost-of-living crisis continues.
The latest Bank of England interest rate hike means new home loans are around £190 dearer per month in Northern Ireland compared to the start of the year.
The hike to 2.25 per cent will make mortgages and other borrowings more expensive.
But the Bank of England wants to try to control soaring prices by curbing spending as it believes the UK economy is already in recession and this week said it will “not hesitate” to hike interest rates even more to curb inflation.
It will also have a direct impact on the housing market in Northern Ireland by making mortgages for first-time buyers or people who are re-mortgaging to a new rate, more expensive.
On Monday, some UK lenders said that they were even halting new mortgage deals.
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