NCA Highlights Costs Savings on Home Heating

The National Consumer Agency (NCA) has published the findings of a survey of prices charged for the supply and delivery of wood pellets in bulk form and for the supply of bagged pellets. Pricing information was collected from 36 wood pellet suppliers in total and reveals differences of up to 82% in the cost of bagged pellets.

This is the second of the NCA’s segment-based price surveys focusing on home heating costs, following the home heating oil survey published in September. Seven wood pellet suppliers were surveyed for one tonne of loose bulk pellets, with only modest differences found in the prices charged. Prices ranged from €220 to €232 – a difference of 5.4% between the lowest and highest quote. The average price across all seven suppliers was €226 for one tonne of loose pellets delivered.

While there was very little difference in the cost of bulk pellets, bagged pellet prices showed considerably more variation. Fifteen suppliers gave quotes for a ten-kilo bag of pellets and the results showed that they ranged in price from €2.99 to €3.70 – a difference of 24%. The price of 15-kilo bags differed by as much as 82% among 14 suppliers, with prices ranging from €4.40 to €8.00 and average price across all locations of €6.03.

Commenting on the price survey, Maria Hurley, director of research at the NCA, says: “In the current cold snap we are all relying on our heating more than usual, so we are urging consumers to be price aware. While the individual price differences highlighted in the survey may seem small, they will add up over the course of the winter, so it can pay dividends to shop around; all you need to do is pick up the phone. If you are buying wood pellets, bear in mind that the survey revealed discounts of up to 17% if you are willing to buy larger quantities, such as a tonne or a full pallet.”

The NCA’s home heating oil survey, published in September, looked at the prices charged across the country for the supply and delivery of 1,000 litres of home heating oil. It found that nationwide prices differed by up to 13%, which can amount to a substantial sum, given the cost of a tank of home heating oil. The survey indicated that it could pay to check prices across a wide geographical area, as many suppliers deliver across very large areas.

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