This week’s figures from the Consumer Council show the cost of topping up an oil tank is still falling with the average cost of 900 litres £21.69 less than it was last week. The average cost of 300 litres is £6.97 less than last week and 500 litres is also lower, with an average reduction of £12.95 compared to last week.
Three weeks ago oil cost on average £70.09 more (900 litres), £40.73 more (500 litres) and £25.82 more (300 litres).
The continued drop in prices will be welcome news for householders, especially as more wintry weather gets colder. The Met Office forecast for the start of the week ahead is that temperatures will drop with night frosts and there will also be a freshening northerly wind.
The average cost of 300 litres in Northern Ireland is now £260.10, while the average price of 500 litres is £418.85 and £743.79 for 900 litres.
While this week’s prices once again show a continued welcome downturn, it is still worth shopping around for the best deal as many suppliers will deliver further afield at no extra cost. The Consumer Council figures also show quite a difference between Northern Ireland’s 11 local council areas.
When it comes to 500 litres, residents of Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon are paying the highest average price at £424.98 while the lowest average price is in Derry City and Strabane at £414.50.
The highest average cost of 900 litres is currently £749.37 in Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon while the lowest is £737.72 in Lisburn and Castlereagh.
The Consumer Council says that many people find it difficult to budget for large one-off bulk deliveries. Larger orders are a higher one-off cost, but smaller orders cost more per litre. Buyers often have no option but to place these smaller, more expensive orders but joining a local oil buying club is one solution to this problem.
The Northern Ireland Oil Federation also has PayPoint facilities to enable people to budget and make regular payments towards oil deliveries instead of having to pay for deliveries in a lump sum.
The Consumer Council also urges people to avoid buying 20 litre emergency oil drums from forecourts as a regular means of topping up their oil tanks as they are extremely expensive and should only be used in emergency circumstances.