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Heating fuel hike could see homes stay cold

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Cypriot households using central heating to keep warm will need around €500 more than last year to heat their homes this winter as fuel prices rise.

Pump prices increased by an average of three cents in a week after the price per barrel on the market exceeded $90.

The average price of unleaded 95 Octane petrol is €1.473 a litre, up from €1.445 last week.

A litre of diesel now stands at €1.831 from €1.80 last week.

No change was recorded in the price of heating oil sold at €1.391 per litre; however, it is 45 cents higher than at the beginning of the year (0.936).

In January 2021, when the average prices were €1.07 for Octane 95 petrol, diesel was €1.10 and heating oil was sold at an average €0.655 per litre.

The price of fuel would be higher if the government did not introduce a reduction in the consumption tax.

The reduced rates are valid until January 15, 2023, with a reduction of 7 cents per litre in the price of petrol, 8.3 cents for diesel and 6.4 cents for heating oil.

The increased price of heating oil means that people using fuel-generated central heating units will need €460 more to fill up a 1000-litre tank.

If this year’s winter is colder and longer than usual, households may need to tank up a second time, adding €920 to their bill.

In recent comments to the Financial Mirror, the head of the Cyprus Consumers’ Association, Marios Drousiotis, said that Cypriots will be turning to cheaper solutions to keep warm, mainly their air conditioners.

“So, to fill a tank of one tonne, someone will have to pay €1,400. How many people can afford that?”

The chair of the consumers association said that the most likely outcome is that Cypriots will be turning on their electricity-consuming split units this winter to keep warm.

“Although not the cheapest of options, as they are paying for the increase of fuel through their electricity bills, people will be using their air conditioners only in the room they are using.”

As experts explain, the increase in heating diesel is due to the shift in fuel usage from power plants that have replaced natural gas, causing the demand for oil to rocket.

Power plants in the European Union have been forced to switch to diesel following the sanctions on Russia for its invasion of Ukraine.

The rise in the international price of Brent oil was pushed up by the decision of producer countries (OPEC) to reduce global production by 1-2 million barrels per day from November.