At present we don’t recommend any renewable energy systems as a complete replacement for oil heating in most homes, unless major household renovation work is being considered. This is because many of the most popular renewable technologies produce heat at much lower temperatures than a typical oil boiler which supplies hot water at around 80°C to radiators, and 60°C for domestic hot water.
Older properties are unlikely to have sufficient thermal efficiency for low temperature renewable heating to work successfully as a straight replacement for an existing oil heating system. Significant home renovation is usually needed to achieve comfortable room temperatures and reliable year-round performance. This could include substantially improved insulation, double glazing, improved heating controls, more or larger radiators and under floor heating – all of which can add to the cost of the installation and will cause significant disruption. For many period homes, this level of modification may simply not be practical. In newly-built homes, which can be designed with low temperature heating mind, these issues are less of a problem as the solutions can be built in as part of the design.