Around 2 million homes in Great Britain have no access to mains gas, and rely on other fuels for heating and cooking. Oil is the most popular choice for the majority of these homes, with around 1.1 million customers – mostly in rural areas.
Oil fired heating and cooking systems are very reliable and will run efficiently for many years with regular servicing. The cost of installing alternatives, particular renewable energy systems, is very high, especially in older properties that often require considerable, and expensive, modification. So for most off gas consumers, oil remains the most practical and cost effective option.
Another benefit of oil is that it has traditionally been cheaper than other competing fuels: independent figures show it costs £1408 per annum to heat an average three bedroom home with a high efficiency oil fired condensing boiler. Using LPG to heat the same size home would cost £1929 per annum.
Oil customers can shop around and switch suppliers at any time. There are now several comparison websites which check local prices and find the most competitive supplier. It’s also worth topping up your tank in the summer when prices are traditionally lower. If that’s not an option then most oil suppliers offer flexible payment plans and direct debit.
Many rural communities form buying groups in order to negotiate bulk order discounts with their local suppliers. This works because the oil delivery tanker only has to make one journey to one area – making multiple deliveries in one trip.
Modern oil boilers are clean burning and efficient. The new breed of high efficiency condensing boilers are around 20% more efficient than their older conventional counterparts, so if your boiler is more than 15 years old it’s worth considering a replacement. Government grants such as the boiler scrappage scheme have helped consumers become more energy efficient and spend less money on bills.
When it comes to going green, oil is very versatile and can easily be used in conjunction with renewable energy sources such as solar panels or heat pumps. In addition, a new kind of bio-liquid for oil heating has been developed which will mean existing oil heating customers can switch to the environmentally friendly fuel without having to buy a new boiler.
OFTEC (oil firing technical association) has a list of over 10,000 approved businesses and technicians throughout the UK and Ireland who can install or service your oil heating system. Go to www.oftec.org to search for your nearest qualified technician.
Issued on behalf of:
OFTEC (Oil Firing Technical Association), Foxwood House, Dobbs Lane, Kesgrave, Ipswich, IP5 2QQ.
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NOTES TO EDITORS
• OFTEC is the Oil Firing Technical Association, and is the UK representative body for companies involved in the oil heating and cooking sector.
• OFTEC registered technicians are trained and qualified to install and service oil heating appliances. They can self certify their work meets building regulations.
• Approximately 1.1 consumers in Great Britain use oil for heating.
• To find out more visit the OFTEC website at www.oftec.org