Heating oil price bombshell for rural households
Over 100,000 households in Wales are facing a massive hike in heating costs following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Close to a third of rural homes in Wales do not have a mains gas supply and are dependent on heating oil, the cost of which has doubled in the two weeks since the war started.
Earlier this week the wholesale price of oil jumped by almost ten percent in just 24 hours due to the conflict.
Since the start of the Russian attack, heating oil prices have risen from 66.74p per litre to 128.65p on Tuesday.
Based on average consumption of around 1,750 litres per year, households dependant on oil are likely to see their bills increase by over 90% from £1,168 to £2,251.
In recent months, wholesale gas and electricity prices have also spiked, and the cost to consumers will go up by over 50 per cent from 1 April as the energy price cap – the maximum amount a utility company can charge – will rise, pushing the average annual bill from £1,277 to £1,971.
While most homes on these tariffs are protected by the energy price cap, there is no such protection for households dependent on oil, meaning there is no upper limit on what they have to pay.
Earlier this week the UK Government announced it will phase out the import of Russian oil and oil products by the end of the year as part of its sanctions on Russia for invading Ukraine, with experts predicting the cost of heating oil could potentially climb even higher as the price of crude oil remains volatile.
According to Welsh Government figures, around 10% of households in Wales use oil central heating, close to 130,000 properties and the majority of those are in rural areas where the housing stock tends to be older and less well insulated and heating costs tend to be a third more expensive as a consequence.
The most recent Welsh Housing Conditions Survey, which covered 2017-18, showed the most common fuel type in most urban and rural dwellings was gas, although urban dwellings were more likely to use gas (93%) than rural dwellings (59%).
Overall, 28% of rural dwellings In Wales used oil, while 4% of households in rural areas were dependent on solid fuels for heating.
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