Shopping around can save €200 on heating oil
CONSUMERS who haggle can save up to €200 in a year on home-heating oil by searching out the best deal.
The National Consumer Agency (NCA) yesterday warned consumers not to automatically re-order from their usual supplier without checking out whether they can get better value.
After seeking 170 quotes to supply home heating oil, the NCA found massive variations in the price for supplying 1,000 litres of the fuel.
Price variations of up to €70 per fill were found. This means that many consumers can save €200 for three fills in a year by ensuring they get the cheapest delivery deal.
The highest price recorded nationally for 1,000 litres of home-heating oil was €850 in Ennis, Co Clare.
The cheapest quote received was in Dundalk, Co Louth, at €770.
Overall, the national average price for a delivery of 1,000 litres of heating oil was €818.
This is up 22pc or €148 per delivery since last September when the NCA last carried out a survey, when it cost €670 to fill a tank.
Maria Hurley of the NCA said huge savings were still possible by shopping around for quotes from local suppliers.
But even if people stick with their usual suppliers it may be possible to strike a better deal through haggling and negotiation.
Ms Hurley added: "In carrying out our survey we also found that it is easier than before to get a quote by phone. Suppliers seem more used to consumers shopping around for quotes than before, as almost all of those contacted offered a price on the spot."
Surveyors found that 10 of the 24 areas across the country had price variations of €30 or more.
Another 11 areas had price variations of €20 or less.
The lowest variation in prices was found in Co Galway-East; Co Galway-North; Co Kerry-Tralee/Killarney; and Co Meath -Navan.
Suppliers in these areas all charged prices that were within €10 of each other.
It was essential for households to get the best deal on home-heating oil especially as prices of electricity, gas, petrol and diesel had all risen this year, Ms Hurley added.
The cost of a year's supply of electricity will go up by around €150 this year for the average family, with gas prices increasing by a similar amount.
Petrol prices have risen by about 15pc in the past year.