Almost two out of every three homes in Northern Ireland are still heated by oil and, while oil remains unregulated to the same degree as natural gas and electricity, there is an extensive network of oil distributers and suppliers which ensure that heating oil prices in Northern Ireland remain competitive with other regions.
Coal is used as a primary heating source in a small percentage of homes in Northern Ireland. The new Energy Strategy for Northern Ireland commits to phasing out the use of coal and other solid fuels for domestic heating purposes. Policy proposals will be consulted on in due course.
Only one large power station in Northern Ireland continues to use coal, and has plans to convert to natural gas, with coal generation expected to cease in 2024.
As we move towards our vision of net zero carbon and affordable energy our reliance on more polluting imported fossil fuels such as oil, coal and solid fuels will decrease.
Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG)
LPG is mainly used by consumers who are not on the natural gas grid, largely as an alternative to heating oil, and for cooking. The LPG market in Northern Ireland, consisting of both domestic and business users, is served by two suppliers. As in Great Britain, the small LPG market in Northern Ireland is not regulated in the same manner as the much larger natural gas market. The sector has an aim to fully transition to BioLPG by 2040, which has up to 90 per cent carbon emissions reduction compared to LPG.