The Housing Executive are setting up a new oil buying club in Lisburn which will help householders benefit from reduced heating costs.
They appointed Bryson Energy to establish a network of the clubs and will work on behalf of the club members by negotiating the best price for a bulk order and arranging delivery.
With the majority of all households in Northern Ireland (68%) dependent on oil heating this new scheme will assist householders in budgeting for oil deliveries on a monthly basis, as well as providing savings as part of a larger buyer group.
The scheme is open to all housing tenures including owner-occupiers, housing association and Housing Executive tenants as well as private-rented tenants. Anyone interested in forming an oil buying club should contact Bryson Energy on 0800 142 2865.
Social Development Minister, Mervyn Storey MLA, said: “Oil buying clubs offer people the opportunity to join with others in buying their home heating oil in bulk, achieving a better price than smaller, more costly refills.
“There may be some communities who have been interested in embarking on such a scheme but perhaps are unsure of going it alone. This initiative will offer households support through Bryson Energy who will act as project co-ordinator.
“The Housing Executive and Bryson Energy are to be commended for offering this opportunity to households of all tenures at a time when fuel costs are a very real issue for families across Northern Ireland.”
Estimates suggest that the level of saving is expected to be a minimum of 7% per litre for a 500 litre fill, dependent on varying oil prices.
Mags Lightbody, Acting Chief Executive of the Housing Executive explained: “Fuel poverty remains a major issue for many of our tenants with the main causes being the high cost of fuel and low household income.
“The Housing Executive recognises the excellent work done to date with some local community groups and local councils facilitating the establishment of oil buying clubs.
“As the Home Energy Conservation Authority for all residential tenures we believe this concept should be replicated across Northern Ireland.
“This new scheme means that at least 5,000 households can budget on a monthly basis and save a minimum of £90 per annum on their oil heating bills.
“This new scheme demonstrates our commitment to providing real benefits to householders.”