The cost of living is rising across the board in the United Kingdom, with families feeling the squeeze on their budgets more and more and looking for ways to save on energy. One area where this is particularly apparent is in the cost of domestic heating oil, as many are currently looking to compare prices for heating oil. Prices have been creeping up for years, and this winter they are expected to rise even further. This is causing real hardship for many families who are already struggling to make ends meet with interest rate hikes, mortgage market collapses and even the price of staple foodstuffs like pasta doubling in the last few months. Things are looking bleak.
The government has already taken steps to help electricity customers via the “energy bills support scheme”. Now they are turning their attention to oil customers, announcing a £100 payment towards their oil costs. This should go some way towards helping those who are struggling to pay their bills, but the nature of domestic UK oil being ordered individually by the homeowner makes this tricky. Why? Well, domestic oil is not supplied by one utility company; customers can shop around but no one provider is responsible for supply. This means it hasn’t been easy for the UK government to work out how to best get this £100 to those who need it.
But there is hope. Despite many UK domestic oil customers holding off buying oil for as long as possible, there are a number of online UK oil comparison sites which have allowed customers to compare prices from different suppliers. This has helped them to get the best price per litre on their oil and has been vital in these difficult times, as every pound saved while waiting for the government to sort a method of getting the £100 to households can make a difference to struggling families.
How the government has already helped electricity customers via the “energy bills support scheme”
The UK government has already taken steps to help electricity customers via the “energy bills support scheme“. This scheme provides £100 towards the electricity bills of low-income households. It is open to those who receive certain benefits, such as Pension Credit, Jobseeker’s Allowance or Employment and Support Allowance. The government has also announced that it will be extending the scheme to those who are on a low income but do not receive any benefits.
So, how will the UK government get the £100 to UK domestic oil customers who are currently looking to compare prices for heating oil? According to the UK government’s website, the £100 one-time payment scheme is for UK households that use non-mains gas fuels like heating oil to heat their homes. The government will have the authority to deliver support through electricity bills in both Great Britain and Northern Ireland under a delivery model similar to what is used for Energy Bills Support Scheme. This will mean that customers using heating oil will not have to pay higher rates for their heating this winter, in comparison to those using mains gas and while the specifics on the date of this payment arriving is still shrouded in mystery, the government state they will announce when this payment will be made available soon. This may offer some peace of mind, particularly to those using heating while working from home.
This is good news for UK domestic oil customers as it means they should start seeing some relief on their bills in the near future. In the meantime, it’s worth considering that this does mean there’s no reason to wait to order more oil if essential.
Most domestic oil customers in the UK will have a tank that holds around 1000 to 1300 litres of oil. Many customers may be running low now and whilst they’re looking to compare prices of heating oil regularly, they’re holding off ordering. This is understandable, but to avoid the impact of market runs on UK oil prices once the colder weather arrives and the risk of running their boiler dry, many oil suppliers are suggesting ordering at least 500 litres to keep you going.
We have to admit that this seemed the best choice for us last month. We were running on fumes and ordering half a tank (88p per litre at that point) seemed to allow us the best option for keeping things running alongside awaiting the £100 payment from the government.
So, while we’re waiting for the UK government to sort itself out and process the £100 oil payments via the energy bills support scheme method of payments via the electricity suppliers, what are the best ways to compare UK oil prices right now?
The best online sites to compare prices of heating oil
If you are a UK domestic oil customer, then you may be wondering how you can get the best price per litre on your oil. After all, with prices rising all the time, it is important to make sure you are getting the best deal possible. The good news is that there are a number of online comparison sites, some of which can also be used in collaboration with cashback sites and money-back offers. This means that you could potentially compare prices and get money off your oil at the same time.
One of the best online comparison sites for domestic heating oil (and our recommendation) is Boilerjuice. They have been in operation since 2004 and claim to be able to compare prices from a wide range of suppliers in your local area. They also offer a price-match guarantee, so if you find a cheaper price elsewhere, they will match it. In addition, they often run special offers and promotions, so it is definitely worth checking their site regularly. They are also present on some cashback sites like Quidco and Topcashback.
Heating Oil Shop is another option and also compares prices from a wide range of suppliers, around 200+. FuelTool compares prices from a limited number of suppliers, but they offer exclusive deals and discounts that you may not find anywhere else.
Whichever comparison site you use, it’s worth looking into the local neighborhood “heating oil clubs”. Check out your local Facebook communities for details or ask your parish council who might know if there’s one running in your area. If you do use a comparison site like BoilerJuice to compare your oil prices in the UK and order, make note of the suppliers they link you with to fulfill your order. You never know, giving them a phone call directly the next time you need to order may undercut the competition and save going via BoilerJuice as a middleman.
Hopefully, this article explains how the UK government is seeking to pay heating oil customers in the UK £100 towards their oil costs. We’ve tried to give readers some simple information related to the best online UK oil comparison sites that can be used hand-in-hand with the £100 payment. Whilst the future is still very uncertain economically in the UK, this £100 is good news for domestic oil customers as it means they should start seeing some relief on their bills in the near future.
In the meantime, it’s worth considering that this does mean there’s no reason to wait to order more oil if essential. Above everything, if you know someone at risk due to lack of heating or warmth (particularly the elderly) please reach out to them and direct them to support and advice with their local Citizen’s Advice. We’ve listed their details below.
Contact Citizens Advice – government/OFGEM provides an Extra Help Unit for those who vulnerability and need more support. If you feel like you fall into this category, someone at the Extra Help Unit could take on your case. To get in touch with them, give them a call at 0808 223 1133 or use their online webchat function. For textphone users, dial 18001 followed by the helpline number to be connected.