For the vast majority of people, no matter what you use to heat your house you are exposed to a greater or lesser extent on world fuel prices. The fluctuations in these costs will determine whether you find yourself paying an increasing or decreasing amount to keep your home warm.
Earlier this year those households using home heating oil got a huge boost as the cost of crude dropped sharply. The oil price has recovered somewhat but has still not returned to where it was at the start of the year.
In the meantime natural gas prices in Greater Belfast have remained stable following a price cut in the Spring, while earlier this month there was a further fall in costs in the Ten Towns area.
So which fuel is proving cheaper nowadays?
The average charge for 500 litres is around £139, just a fraction up on the price six months ago. That has kept home heating oil the cheapest by far of the four fuels compared by enirgy.info.
At these prices heating a house with home heating oil would cost £472 over the course of a year, a margin of £143 cheaper than natural gas in Greater Belfast and £105 cheaper than natural gas in the Ten Towns*
*The estimation by enirgy.info is based on a delivery of 15,000 kWh of useful heat regardless of the efficiency of boiler used.