Protect citizens reliant on home heating oil during COVID-19 crisis
Sinn Féin's Caoimhe Archibald MLA has today said providers of home heating oil must ensure all is being done to protect staff and citizens forced to stay at home to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The call came following a written request from the Sinn Féin economy spokesperson to the Oil Federation seeking clarity on what the industry is doing to protect citizens and ensure vulnerable people are not left without home heating.
Caoimhe Archibald MLA said:
"In the past few days, I have written to the local Oil Federation, the body representing suppliers of home heating oil, to ensure they are doing all that is possible to protect citizens and prevent the spread of COVID-19.
"Over two thirds of homes are reliant on oil for home heating, an unregulated fuel, which puts them at a unique risk as oil tanks must be filled manually.
"I welcome confirmation from the local Oil Federation that their drivers have been granted the correct PPE.
"I would also echo their call that citizens ordering home heating oil should adhere to the strictest social distancing guidelines and keep drivers safe as they deliver to multiple homes.
"This is a profoundly difficult time for family finances. So I would also urge oil suppliers to offer flexibility and leniency when it comes to payment options to ensure those struggling as a result of this crisis are not cut off from home heating."