How does the cost of oil heating compare to other heating options?


For home owners off the mains gas grid, oil heating is the most competitive choice. Over the last four years heating oil has fallen dramatically in price and, according to independent data on comparative UK domestic heating prices, oil is now the cheapest of all the major heating fuels, costing £245 less per year to heat an average three bedroom home than mains gas, the second cheapest option.

The data also shows that the price of kerosene has fallen by 39% over the past four years while the cost of all other fuels has fallen much less or increased.

Comparing the cost of heating the same average home with either LPG or electric storage heaters – the other main heating methods used by off gas grid households – and oil is considerably cheaper, currently coming in at 48% less expensive than LPG and 50% cheaper than electricity.

Most analysts agree that the price of oil is set to stay low for the foreseeable future, so this is an ideal time to consider investing in a modern oil condensing boiler to maximise the potential savings. As well as being the cheapest fuel, oil heating has other advantages. You can choose who you buy your oil from and shop around easily for the best deal. Oil users can also use the seasonal variation in the price of oil to their advantage. By checking the price of heating oil regularly, and buying during the summer when prices tend to be lower, it is possible to make very significant savings.

How oil heating compares - the facts

The figures below compare the current price of different heating fuels in Great Britain against the price of each fuel four years earlier. In each case the figures are for the average annual cost of heating and hot water for a typical three bedroomed home in Great Britain.

Heating type

Cost in October 2011

Cost in October 2015

Percentage difference

Solid fuel (Anthracite Grains)

£997

£1155

15.8% increase

Electric storage heaters using economy seven

£1309

£1600

22% increase

Mains gas (British Gas)

£1027

£1038

1% increase

LPG condensing boiler

£1883

£1548

17.7% decrease

Oil condensing boiler

£1300

£793

39% decrease

Wood pellets

£1347

£1332

1% decrease

 

Cost in October 2013

Cost in October 2015

 

Air source heat pump
heating radiators*

£1357

£1453

7% increase

 Figures compiled by independent analysists The Sutherland Tables.
*Figures for air source heat pumps only available from 2013 onwards.

Further Information

Look after your oil tank

Buying group guidance