Home Energy: Is the price of home heating too high?

Home Energy: Is the price of home heating too high?

Home Energy: Is the price of home heating too high?Householders’ pockets are taking a double hit this month; not only are pay packets feeling a nice pinch as a result of budget measures coming into full effect but the continuing rise in fuel prices are noticeably pushing up the cost of living.

The latest Consumer Price Index (CPI) from the CSO show that the cost of housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels rose by nearly 10% in the year to December, compared to an annual drop of 21.2% a year earlier.

Home heating oil was the main offender rising by 33.9% during 2010 and rising by 11% in December alone. Householders needing a refill after the recent and lengthy cold spell will now face forking out close to €790 for 1,000 litres compared with around €550 a year ago. Independent website Cheapestoil.ie said home oil prices were at their highest in over two years and, since the introduction of the carbon tax last year, consumers here now paid three times more tax on their oil than people living in the North.

Have Your Say:

  • Home Energy: Is the price of home heating too high?
  • Should we invest in more energy efficient and cost effect methods other than oil in order to heat our homes?
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There are 13 comments for this article
  1. Oscar Stewart at 5:05 pm

    We need to go green. This is the only way it can be done. High prices for wind power aren’t necessarily going to be high forever. Money needs to come in first to make it work. Once the expenses are payed, the prices should drop, and we should see a not so far future with lower heating costs and cleaner energy.

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  3. B O’Sullivan at 1:21 pm

    Hope the “Greens” dont come to my door looking for a vote in March….. what have they done for us since we voted them in???? certainly my idea of having them in Govt was not to have them join FF….look where that has taken us.

  4. Jax like Tax at 9:39 am

    It seems to me that all the governments in the world make a mess of running our countries and never take responsibility for the mess they leave the citizens in. Every time there is an election they all say they are going to make the same things better and it never happens. The people pay their taxes, they spend it and we are left to pay even more to clean up the mess. If the whole country switched off every electrical appliance and gas appliance for one day the energy companies and government may stop and think. Have you ever been into a cold in any government office or a government official’s home?

    They need to be reminded that tax should not be on live essentials like heating.

  5. Peter O’Connor at 9:38 pm

    An addendum. We have a B&B – open all year round. Our LPG gas bill is around €200,-/annum.
    We do not have an electric immersion heater and with 3 bedrooms and a self-catering apartment we’ve never had a problem of not enough hot-water even in the poorest of Summers. The house was built in 1984. It was a bungalow (1500feet2/150m2) Now it’s 3 stories and heated mostly by passive and a wood-stove.

  6. Peter O’Connor at 9:32 pm

    Heating fuel prices are heavily subsidised. If the subsidies were taken off and the price left to true market value (+40%) we would respect fuel more. We would super insulate our present homes and build only A-rated homes. I learned to insulate my homes living in the Netherlands where -22C was the norm in (some) winters.
    Returning to Ireland I was shocked to see the sloppy planning, building and attitudes of the Irish who in 1999 were still not conforming to the principles I learnt at collage in the mid to late ’80’s. Now as a BER engineer and solar panel salesperson I laugh at the stupidity of most Irish that still feel they should burn petro-fuels like there’s no tomorrow. I constantly get people bemoaning the cost of fuel and they won’t insulate or even go solar – which could cut their heating bills by at least 50% and they can’t see that €4k spent today will save tens of thousands in the life time of their house ownership. + they get all the hot-water they can use and the house is more comfortable and has a higher market value. Most Credit Unions are offering special loans for insulation and solar. A litre of petrol was 42p/50ct 12yrs ago. I’ve seen it at 149ct. What’s the betting it’ll go down??

  7. Chris at 8:03 pm

    Reeves. I’m sorry but your definition of socialist/marxist is radically different to the European concept. Our socialists have been in opposition for an awful long time now and never actually held power. Most Irish would consider Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael to lean more to your republicans conservative side while Labour (Which is supposed to be more socialist as you would define them) successively brought in budgets that favoured the rich in a capitalist society than the poor that they were supposed to defend. Just look at the budgets Ruiri Quinn brought in under the last Rainbow Coalition. The majority of all the worlds leading economists have stated (American included) the cause of not only the Irish recession but most of the worldwide recessions is a strategy formula that Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher came up with of letting the banking institutions run themselves with little to no regulation to encourage economic stimulation that has caused this. Allowing an “elite” that decide their own wages and lend money that isn’t theirs to people at low interest rates allows those that are on even the lowest salaries to get their hands on cheap credit. A truly “Capitalist” and “Free Market” model that has shown itself not to work as greed always triumphs over common sence. Our conservative government reaped the rewards of high house prices driven up by this almost free credit through stamp duty that at the height of the housing boom was worth billions of euro in tax revenue annually and did nothing to prepare for what was coming. If anything we could’ve done with a more “marxist” government because at least then none of us would have thought ourselves that rich that we would live beyond our means. I say “we” but I wasn’t in a position that I felt I had to borrow more than I could ever afford (like the ridiculously overpriced houses that people genuinely needed so I’m not putting them down here!) but I still have to pay for it. (I aim that remark towards the Dunnes/Quinns and golden circles. If it were rent or pay over the odds I’d pay over the odds so don’t take it I’m taking a poke at the unfortunates that are in negative equity now!

    Our government has it’s issues seeing as they are, if not totally to blame, at least partially responsible for this recession that we will now have to endure but I can tell you one thing about them. They deserve an awful lot of bad names to be thrown at them but marxist (if you view it as bad) is not one of them. Wiki describes socialism as…
    “Socialism is characterized by the working-class effectively controlling the means of production and the means of their livelihood either through cooperative enterprises or public ownership (with the state being re-organized under socialism) and self management.”

    Politicians run this country. An elected elite that decide the fate of the working (and every other) class. They serve their five year term (often to the detriment of anyone but their friends such as Paddy the Plasterer!!!) and leave with a pension that they are entitled to from the day they leave their position whereas the rest of us have to wait until we’re 65 to claim ours. That hardly represents a socialist form of governance.

    The only thing the working class in this country control is the time they goto the pub. (if their capitalist boss lets them go at the time they’re supposed to instead of working mandatory overtime)

    Co-operative enterprises or public ownership? Well CIE does get government subsidies to operate our public transport network but other than taxi’s there really hasn’t been any major company set up here that could supply a service required by the demand. Any American companies want to open up in our free economy to challenge this?

    Also another point in Public Ownership. Our natural resources like the Corrib Gas idea that FF brought in effectively SOLD it at a cheap cost to a foreign PRIVATE firm. If we were socialist about it would we not have publicly funded the exploitation of it for the betterment of our “poor” people?

    To American people if the power doesn’t rest in the Commander in Chief and have two houses that serve their purpose exclusively then it’s not a real democracy and the term marxist then applies (as it always has since the cold war). We are a proper democracy that operates on the basis of free trade and an open model of capitalism. We do not have a socialist government. We’re not perfect but what form of government is? Sorry for using up so much space to clarify what an Irish person makes of your comment but I felt it needed to be explained and I’ll happily supply my email addy if you want to converse further on it.

    But onto the point of the discussion, AV Watt (great pun by the way) is totally right. Those that used your vote by “going green” are reaping those rewards with the carbon tax initially, the increasing of the carbon tax in the last budget, the levy that all energy suppliers now have to pay to support the construction of “renewable power” like tidal generators and wind plants and the cost of upgrading the network through Eirgrid. I’m all for slowly building up our network of renewables but at this rate it would be cheaper and more cost efficient to get it over with and build a nuclear plant. Right up in Donegal too, next door to Coughlans house! With petrol due to hit Eur1.50 a litre by the end of the month, how many of you people that did vote Green are looking forward to another rigid Ryan or gormless Gormley speach about the benefits of going green? Use your vote in 50 days and use it wisely or petrol will be 2 euro a litre this time next year!

  8. Pol at 6:34 pm

    Conservation needs to be the first step, or reducing demand for fossil fuels. Our homes are quickly built, ignoring insulating values and weather sealing to limit drafts. And they are far too large. Everyone wants a castle. Now we have many empty castles when moderation and energy conservation may have allowed us to avoid foreclosure.

  9. reeves at 5:27 pm

    Ireland’s intelligent people should realize that socialism has crippled their economy and created poverty and high costs, resulting in the bankruptcy now looming in this once free country. Get the Marxists out of your government and return Ireland to a land of capitalist free enterprise that elevates the “little guy” to a better standard of living. Socialism has never worked in any country since the beginning of civilization. Why do you allow it to keep you down with more and more “programs” that only make things worse? Left to the people, economies flourish with the competitiveness that drives down costs and drives up quality. You don’t have to emigrate to find freedom and a higher standard of living; just fix your country by demanding government get out of the way. We were going to retire to Ireland (from America) before the country went socialist and the people gave up on their inherent ability to solve their own problems. Now, with government the master of the people, we will stay here and fight our own battles with the evil socialist monster.

  10. Dave ellis at 4:43 pm

    The cost of fuel is not the issue the way you build your home is. Ireland has one of the worse energy efficient methods of construction. At times it is colder in the home then outside. Ways of improvement would be water heated flooring but you cant beat fiberglass insulation R-20 rated, wood frame with drywall. No water lines should be installed on a exterior wall to freeze. Hot presses should not be installed in the attic where there is less heat. Fire place flues designed so the heat from the fire doesn’t go straight up the flue outside, but a self contained fire box that retains all or most of the heat. Get the natural gas out of the Corrib field onshore to Ireland after all you paid to have the pipe laid even in Mullingar where I lived. If that is not possible the the government should pay a drilling company to explore for other oil and gas fields to supply Ireland with energy at least a 50/50 partnership deal and get on with trying to be self-sufficient .

  11. AV Watt at 4:06 pm

    Fuel prices are determined by; govermenent tax policy, the oil or gas price and the €:$ exchange rate.
    Eamonn Ryan’s Green party policies are the principal reason your heating bills are increasing. More and more tax and of course the hidden subsidies for ryan’s pet renewable energy projects such as wind power where we pay 7.6 cents for each kW/hr generated while the average price paid to power plants in Ireland this year is 5.3 cents.
    Ryan’s policies, but you pay! Do not vote Green on March 11th.

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  13. Philip Nelson at 2:34 pm

    Why is Dublin Gas coming down and Calor Gas going up?

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