Mild weather sees price of home heating oil fall by 13% in Northern Ireland
The price of home heating oil has fallen by 13% over the last three months in tandem with a fall in crude oil prices, it has emerged.
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And the Consumer Council urged oil suppliers to pass on any further reductions in prices to consumers.
It comes as a survey of energy prices for business customers showed a increase of 54% in electricity costs year-on-year.
The Consumer Council urged householders to shop around for oil as there was a wide differential in the prices across suppliers.
According to the organisation, a 500-litre fill of oil from the cheapest supplier cost £235 last Thursday, while the most expensive charged £274.88.
The price of home heating oil reflects a 15% fall over the last few months in crude oil to $62.51 a barrel.
But Sinead Dynan from the council said home heating oil did not always reflect crude trends.
She said: "There are other factors which affect the price we pay, such as supply, seasonal demand and global market conditions."
The downward trend in oil comes as predominantly mild temperatures led to a 9% drop in wholesale gas prices in January.
But the Naturgy Energy Review and Forecast for January showed prices are up 15% year-on-year. The review by the energy company also shows electricity prices have increased by 4% month-on-month, and are 54% higher compared to January, 2018.
Naturgy Energy analyst Lauren Stewart said: "Sentiment in the wholesale gas market continued its bearish trajectory in the month of January after receiving record LNG supplies into Britain from the previous month.
"With strong deliveries of LNG into Europe expected to continue into February and March and the system characterised as being in extreme oversupply, any volatility in prices would be expected to be due to weather-driven demand."
She said the increase in electricity prices followed outages at all-island generators, including Moneypoint and Great Island in the Republic.