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Housing Executive to set up oil buying clubs

Published: Fri, 5 Dec 2014
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We recognise the excellent work done to date locally
Oil tank
Households are to benefit from reduced heating costs with the establishment of a network of oil buying clubs across Northern Ireland.
The Housing Executive has appointed Bryson Energy to establish  a network of 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.
Welcoming the scheme, 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.
“As the largest local housing provider, this new scheme demonstrates our commitment to providing real benefits to householders when family incomes are squeezed.”
Bryson Energy will generate interest among local communities and aims to establish at least one club in each of the existing 26 local district council areas.  There is no cost to members for signing up.  Each member will also have to sign up to Bryson’s Rules and Procedures.
Nigel Brady, Director of Bryson Energy, said:
“We are delighted to have been awarded this three year Housing Executive contract for the formation and operation of oil buying clubs across Northern Ireland.  With large numbers of households dependent on oil to heat their homes, buying clubs will help to make oil more affordable and I would encourage both individuals and groups interested in forming an oil buying club to make contact with Bryson Energy on 0800 142 2865.”  
It is hoped to establish the first oil buying club early in 2015. Further information on the establishment of Oil Buying Clubs is also available on www.nihe.gov.uk, info@brysonenergy.org or www.nidirect.gov.uk/central-heating