Oil heating remains competitive

The latest independent analysis shows an increase in the price of heating for all fuels, but oil heating has remained competitive for many people who do not have access to the gas main.

Figures just released by the Sutherland Tables for January 2011, indicate the cost of heating and hot water, for an average three bedroom home in England, is now £1,291, using an oil fired condensing boiler. An equivalent LPG boiler would cost £1,676 (including tank rental) or £2,038 for a non-condensing model. For the first time since 2008, oil has become more expensive than electricity, which now costs £1,103 per annum.

The price of domestic heating oil hit the headlines before Christmas when the severe weather conditions meant that some distributors struggled to deliver oil to customers at a time when they needed it most. Isolated reports of customers unable to get oil sparked abnormally high levels of demand as people placed panic orders for oil they did not need, which in turn pushed up the price.

OFTEC director general Jeremy Hawksley said: “The price of oil has now dropped back down to more realistic levels, and we would expect oil heating to return to being cheaper than electric before long. For the most economical way to buy oil, we advise customers to fill their tanks in summer when prices are historically lower. Switching to a condensing boiler can save up to 18% on running costs, and making sure it’s serviced regularly will keep the appliance running efficiently.”

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