As of today, the price of domestic heating oil in the UK is around 27.35ppl. Way lower than 48.72ppl a year ago. I am highly recommending if you’re looking to order domestic UK heating oil today, that you carry on reading the below article for tips and tricks to save on your energy consumption and costs. Group buying middleman BoilerJuice has a handy price chart feature on their website to allow you to view weekly, monthly and year-by-year price charts. This is essential for working out when to buy your oil as it will show you clearly whether prices are on the rise or in decline. It’s worth noting that whilst most oil companies will tell you that prices always rise in the winter and that buying in the summer could historically have saved UK buyers an average of £300, it’s less certain in the current climate how much this will happen. Most likely, with wave after wave of coronavirus cases hitting the EU, we’re likely to see prices remain quite steady. This is because many of the oil giants have deals in place in order to prop up the market and stop prices from falling further. Mind you, this may not be sustainable long term.
So is now a good time to buy domestic heating oil in the UK?
Well, I’ve used domestic heating oil at a number of properties over the years. Whilst I have attempted to order in the cheaper summer months, it can depend on whether I’ve had a budget in place and the funds available at that time for the outlay. A few years back, a 1000l tank would have cost you around £400, but it’s more like £290 for 1000 litres in the current climate. I firmly believe the key to making efficient oil purchases is to top-up your full tank when you know oil prices are on a low trend, or by spreading the costs via purchasing 500 litres in the late autumn, around the time the clocks change, hoping for Spring’s slump in prices to arrive before your next 500 litres required. Obviously, this is based on a 1000 litre tank size minimum.
At the time of writing this article (October 2020), If you have sufficient oil in your tank to allow a few more weeks to pass, I would watch the trends to see if there are further drops. However, if your oil tank is on its last legs, the prices in the current market are still at an amazing low.
How can I get further discounts on my heating oil by group buying?
I’ve already mentioned the group buying comparison site boiler juice. They will offer you a variety of prices in your area based on the speed or urgency of delivery. They also offer what they refer to as group buying weekends where they offer additional discounts for multiple purchases in the same postcode area. This is a tactic you can use with other homes in your local neighbourhood if you are on day-to-day friendly terms – simply encourage as many as possible to sign up for deliveries on the same day.
You can also use the refer a friend option from BoilerJuice to get £5 off for your friend and £5 credit for yourself. (our code is RHJZWZT2 should you wish to use it).
How long will 500 or 1000 litres of oil last?
This is a commonly asked question and one that is tricky to answer because every household size and their usage will vary significantly. Based on my experiences of oil usage in two homes of different sizes, both with central heating fired by oil, I’d suggest the following as a rough rule of thumb for average usage over a winter:
Standard 2 bed house with a small family:
500 Litres of domestic heating oil may last around 4-5 months
Standard 3-4 bed house with medium family:
500 Litres of domestic UK heating oil may last around 2-4 months
Again, it’s important to keep in mind that insulation and the general efficiency of your home will have a large impact on how much heating oil you use over the winter months. 500 litres should, in most cases, see a small family in a standard 2-bed house through a winter, whereas a 3 to 4-bedroom house for the median family could be a push with only 500 litres. Therefore, by my own logic, I would strongly suggest topping up as much as you can in larger houses before the winter period while prices are generally at their cheapest.
How to play the quote game with heating oil suppliers in the UK
There are over a million homes in the UK on domestic heating oil. Kerosene is the most common domestic heating oil available in the UK but it does depend on your boiler type as “gas oil” is also an option. For the best price right now it’s worth using as many domestic oil comparison sites as possible. However, if you are running short on time, the one comparison site I would suggest above all others is BoilerJuice. They have access to over 130 suppliers and have a range of nifty tools for making the most of your money. Once you’ve identified the rough prices available in your area look to local directories and listings for other suppliers not covered that you can call and quote the best prices you got from BoilerJuice to. Suppliers are after your custom, so when engaged in a sale call let the supplier make you an offer by staying silent as much as possible. This will often prompt the salesperson to make you their best offer in order to fill the conversation with words. This is a haggling technique I’ve written about in my article on how to get Sky TV deals, bundles and offers for existing customers.
How can I make my heating oil last longer to save on domestic heating costs?
There are numerous things you can do to make your heating have a less long-term impact on your finances. Not all of them have to have a large financial cost to implement. Included below are a few of my tips that may help to save pennies and pounds off those heating bills.
Top ways to save on your home energy costs without spending money.
- Don’t extract your warmth. The use of extractor fans in kitchens and bathrooms is essential to stop humidity levels from rising and creating dampness. However, their extended use simply removes heat from your house and pumps it into the outside. Some extractors can have their extraction time altered to reduce the length of time they continue extracting. It may be a simple adjustment that will keep warmth in your house and reduces your electricity bills slightly too.
- Have awareness of your home’s rooms – what they actually used for? If you have a dining room that is scarcely used then adjust the thermostat and radiator valves to reflect the footfall in that room. Similarly, if you only ever pass through your hallways for fleeting moments, any radiators within these areas could be turned down to a lower background heat such as 16 degrees. Most areas that are inhabited regularly could be set around 19 or 20 degrees.
- Let sunlight be your friend. Even on a cold winter’s day, you may be surprised how much warmth sunlight can let into a home. Resist the urge to keep those curtains drawn and let that sunlight in.
- “Shut that door!” – Now even though Larry Grayson was before my time, I can remember my parents saying his catchphrase repeatedly when I was younger. This applies in particular to those that like a toasty bedroom. Why let all of the radiator heat escape into hallways? keep that door closed ready for when you ascend the stairs to bed.
- Cover up – Whether it’s dressing in layers or keeping your socks on, there’s a whole host of other tips to keep gas and electric bills low when working from home in my other articles. Using some of these additional tips will mean keeping track of UK heating oil prices is less essential.
Top investments in your home set up that can vastly improve your long term energy savings.
- Make sure your boiler is serviced regularly by a certified technician and check where possible the oil you get has appropriate additives added to protect your system. Don’t buy additives from your domestic heating supplier as they will charge you a fortune for additives. These domestic heating oil additives can be bought separately, even from Amazon, and added yourself to the tank. One thing to keep in mind if the additives need to be mixed into your oil so placing some in the tank prior to oil delivery and some after will help to balance the mix.
- A humid house feels warmer. Without overdoing it, using a humidifier to achieve the right balance that makes your home feel comfortable can be a no-brainer.
- Consider what benefits you are entitled to. It may be there are grants, credit or funds to improve your efficiency of help towards your bills.
- If you have unused fireplaces in your home make sure these are appropriately blocked to prevent heat loss. It’s also worth looking into having chimneys “topped” properly if they’re not already to prevent the buildup of winter detritus behind an internal block. It also stops birds nesting within which can lead to pests in the home within the home.
- Invest in made to measure thermal curtains – Whilst I’ve spoken about the importance of opening your curtains during the day, having the right protection at night to keep your warm thin is essential.
- Consult your home’s EPC. This I will show you those items that will make the biggest impact on your energy efficiency over time and some of the cheaper “quick wins”. It’s worth noting that some of these improvements may be accessible via the current government green homes initiative and grants.