A massive 23 per cent increase in the cost of home heating oil has taken place in the last year in Northern Ireland, it has been revealed.
In 2009 it cost £359 to fill a 900 litre tank. That sum has now increased by £84, to make an average of £443.
The hardest hit place is Belfast, where it will cost around £450 to buy 900 litres of oil.
The Consumer Council has said they will be investigating whether those costs are justified.
It is feared the further price increases could have a significant impact on central heating bills, especially for the elderly.
According to the council, recent figures have shown that around 300,000 people in Northern Ireland are struggling to keep their houses warm.
Oil companies claim they are only passing on increased costs from the wholesale market.
Traders have warned that the current price of oil could jump from $87 a barrel to $90 in the coming weeks, which will mean bigger costs for consumers.
The news follows a warning from the Met Office that temperatures in the country could reach -11C.