Heating cost comparison

We know it can be difficult to work out if you have made the best financial choice when it comes to heating your home. How does the fuel you use compare to others available on the market?

OFTEC can help. The fuel price information we present here is updated every quarter using data supplied by independent fuel analysts, The Sutherland Tables, and is derived from information supplied by the fuel providers.

The costs are for an annual space and water heating requirement of approximately 16,000kWh, which is what might be expected for a typical three bedroomed semi-detached house. Many factors will affect how much heat is needed for your home, so these figures are provided for guidance only, and will probably not reflect exactly what you might use in your own home. However, they do provide a basis for meaningful comparisons to be made.

Fuel costs are affected by three main factors, including:

  • The unit cost of your fuel
  • The efficiency of your heating system
  • The heating requirements (demand) of your home and occupants.

Of these, the biggest variable is the last one. Heat demand is dependent on a wide range of factors, such as:

  • The size of the building
  • The number of external walls
  • The type of construction used – for example buildings constructed before 1920 will usually have single-skinned walls which let heat escape more easily
  • How much insulation has been installed
  • The type of glazing installed
  • The number of occupants and their behaviour – for example more occupants use more hot water and may need more rooms to be heated for longer, particularly if they are at home all day.

A large old detached house might have a heat requirement of well over 20,000kWh. Conversely, a modern home of the same size, but with modern glazing, state of the art insulation and very efficient heating might have a heat demand below 10,000kWh, purpose-built low carbon homes can have even lower heat demands. It can be difficult and expensive to retrofit existing homes, particularly older buildings, to the same standard as modern homes.

Latest fuel prices

The tables show quarterly data published by the Sutherland Tables. They show the annual average cost of a range of heating options for a typical pre-1980, three-bedroomed, semi-detached home with a heat requirement of approximately 16,000 kWh.  

Great Britain
 4 year average (Oct 2016 to Oct 2020)Oct-2020Oct-2019Price change
Anthracite grains£1,159£1,209£1,209£0
Electricity (Economy 7)£1,955£2,069£2,088-£19
Gas (British Gas - condensing)£975£877£1,016-£139
LPG (Condensing boiler)£1,552££1,555£1,590-£35
Oil (Condensing boiler)£971£636£1,110-£474
Wood pellets£1,439£1,507£1,491£16
Air source heat pump (radiators)£1,725£1,793£1,835-£42
Air source heat pump (underfloor heating)£1,388£1,373£1,404-£31
Northern Ireland
 4 year average (Oct 2016 to Oct 2020)Oct-2020Oct-2019Price change
Anthracite grains£1,006£1,075£1,047£28
Electricity (Economy 7)£1,699£1,882£1,924-£42
Gas (Phoenix Gas - condensing)£937£861£1,050-£189
LPG (Condensing boiler)£2,075£1,994£2,219-£225
Oil (Condensing boiler)£955£611£1,086-£475
Wood pellets£1,134£1,200£1,104£96
Air source heat pump (radiators)£1,553£1,670£1,686-£16
Air source heat pump (underfloor heating)£1,262£1,259£1,271-£12
Republic of Ireland
 4 year average (Oct 2016 to Oct 2020)Oct-2020Oct-2019Price change
Anthracite peas€1,579€1,628€1,628€0
Electricity (Urban Night Saver)€2,077€2,176€2,194-€18
Gas (Bord Gais - condensing)€1,348€1,299€1,431-€132
LPG (Condensing boiler)€2,308€2,491€2,454€37
Oil (Condensing boiler)€1,296€827€1,499-€672
Wood pellets€1,363€1,385€1,400-€15
Air source heat pump (radiators)€1,823€1,907€1,919-€12
Air source heat pump (underfloor heating)€1,491€1,504€1,509-€5