Cllr Ross Brown welcomes City Council support for fuel clubs

Green Party Cllr Ross Brown today welcomed Belfast City Council’s support for communities who are clubbing together to fight fuel poverty by amalgamating their orders for home heating oil.

“Fuel poverty is an unbearable burden. Establishing an oil club offers real, practical help to the most vulnerable in our society” said Cllr Ross Brown

In September 2013 Ross Brown was instrumental in setting up the East Belfast Oil Club, Belfast’s very first oil buying co-operative.

Speaking now as a councillor Ross says, “I am delighted that the council have finally recognised the benefit of oil buying clubs for people struggling to heat their homes and have put forward resources to help promote fuel club initiatives across the city”

“The idea is simple: club members put their orders together. Volunteers in the club then approach oil companies for the best deal. They can then get individual orders at bulk prices”

“East Belfast of course already has its own club covering this side of town. Coming into winter there is no better time to think about becoming a member.”

“It is completely free to join the East Belfast oil club, there is no obligation to buy and all of the savings are passed on directly to club members. The club operates out of Ballyhackamore Credit Union so you can pick up a membership form and sign up there or find information on facebook or the website”

“Depending on the order size, members of the East Belfast Oil Club save up to £30 compared to the lowest cost when purchasing as an individual.”

“Too many people living in poverty will have to choose this winter between buying food and keeping warm. This includes families with young children. It includes pensioners who have made a life time’s contribution to the community. Now, they should be supported to live in dignity. Instead they have a choice: either to be hungry or to be cold. We cannot call ourselves a civilised society and let this go on”.

Cllr Brown feels this is a good example of the vision of the Green Party. “People associate us with the major issues of the environment which of course we are very much concerned about. This initiative also demonstrates that we also care deeply about social justice and that working together and supporting each other is the best way to tackle the range of problems that we face.”

30 October 2014

The East Belfast Oil Club can be contacted on 07551337183 or by emailing More information is also available on the website

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