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Irish Independent
Irish Independent
Charlie Weston Twitter Email

Cost-of-living crisis: Home-heating oil prices drop but we still face double the bills of last year

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The cost of home-heating oil has fallen back over the last few weeks.

But householders are still paying almost double the outlay of just a year ago.

With winter on the way many people are taking delivery of oil, with average prices now down €250 for a 1,000-litre fill compared with prices in June.

This is a fall of around 20pc.

However, the current cost is still almost double what the 1.5 million households that use the fuel were paying last year.

This means those who have not filled a tank since last year are in for a shock. It costs €1,248 on average across the country for 1,000-litres of home-heating oil, according to average price figures quoted on the website.

This time last year it cost an average of around €650 for the same amount.

It means those who have not had to order home-heating oil since last year face paying hundreds of euro more for the fuel this autumn.

Crude oil prices on world markets have been falling recently over fears the Chinese economy – a massive user of oil – may be entering a slowdown.

This has eased some of the pressure on wholesale prices which had been rising strongly.

Prices have been volatile since the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February.

Chairman of the Consumers Association of Ireland, Michael Kilcoyne, called for the Vat charged on home-heating oil to be reduced.

The temporary reduction in Vat on electricity and gas products that was introduced at the start of this year did not include home-heating oil or solid fuels.

Most people in rural areas have no access to piped gas.

Mr Kilcoyne said: “Home-heating oil is an essential commodity for people.”

He said people on fixed incomes, such as the elderly, will face a choice this winter of heating their homes or feeding themselves.

“The Vat on home-heating oil should be reduced. And it should be removed entirely for people on fixed incomes,” Mr Kilcoyne said.

The Government says it was unable to secure a deal with the EU to allow it to reduce Vat on home-heating oil.

Carbon tax on home-heating oil increased in May by €19.40 on 900 litres of kerosene. 

This means people are now paying €93 for 900 litres of oil. The money raised through carbon tax is set aside to address fuel poverty and to finance measures that help communities switch to greener energy.

Kevin McPartlan of Fuels for Ireland, whose members import oil, said there has been a rise in demand for home-heating oil in recent weeks.

He said demand will get even stronger as soon as the country experiences its first cold snap of the autumn.

“When there is a cold snap there is a rush to fill tanks and there is a spike in demand,” he said. “Oil companies are running at high stock levels so they can deal with any spike that comes.”

He said the crude oil market seems to have stabilised, especially since Opec (Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries) members started increasing supplies.

Nicholas Hayes of the UK Ireland Fuel Distributors Association said demand was relatively low at the moment. He said prices had fallen considerably in the past few weeks.

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