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Householders to see cost of home heating hit record low as further tumble predicted

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The development comes at a time when consumers are paying less for their fuel since the last Millennium, with prices forecast to fall further still

The development comes at a time when consumers are paying less for their fuel since the last Millennium, with prices forecast to fall further still

The development comes at a time when consumers are paying less for their fuel since the last Millennium, with prices forecast to fall further still

Hard-pressed householders will see the cost of home heating oil hit a record low, according to Northern Ireland Consumer Council's weekly price survey.

The development comes at a time when consumers are paying less for their fuel since the last Millennium, with prices forecast to fall further still.

Paulino Garcia, head of energy policy at The Consumer Council, said the good news follows a collapse in the demand for crude oil as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

"The average cost of a 500 litre refill has dropped by 47% since January 2020," he said. "It's at its lowest since 2016 and is 23% cheaper than in 2009 when we began our survey.

"With many households experiencing a drop in income due to the impact of Covid-19, a reduction in heating oil costs will be welcome news for the 68% of consumers in Northern Ireland that rely on home heating oil to heat their home."

The drop in fuel prices has nothing to with a quirk of futures trading in the US on Monday, where the price of crude oil fell below zero, meaning producers were actually offering to pay suppliers to take it away.

Instead, the drop is down to a global collapse in demand as people have largely stopped flying and driving, and factories aren't manufacturing at full capacity. It will not necessarily filter through to huge reductions on the forecourts, but prices seem set to drop a bit further, according to analysts.

Petrol at many forecourts across Northern Ireland is selling for less than £1 per litre - almost at its lowest since the 1990s.

But even if wholesale oil prices continue their downwards trajectory, pump prices will not come down that much, because in the UK, just 12.3p of each litre is made up of the oil price itself, with the rest going to the Government in tax and to the supply chain.

Belfast Telegraph