Oil prices continue to fall

oftecLatest figures show that heating oil prices have continued to fall and are now at a three-year low, making oil the cheapest and most convenient way to heat off-gas grid homes.

According to the Sutherland Tables, a recognised independent source of data on comparative UK domestic heating prices, the current average annual cost of using oil to heat a three bedroom home in Great Britain is now 11.6% lower than the average cost recorded over the past four years.

Compare the cost of heating the same average home with either liquid petroleum gas (LPG) or electricity – the other main heating fuels used by off gas grid homes – and oil remains considerably cheaper, currently coming in at 40% less expensive than LPG and 26% cheaper than electricity.

The cost difference between oil and mains gas has also narrowed significantly throughout the last year with oil now just two per cent more expensive than gas, equating to around £25 per year. If this trend continues – as predicted by a recent Department of Energy and Climate Change report on future fossil fuel prices – it is likely that oil will actually become cheaper than mains gas in the near future.

Jeremy Hawksley, director general of OFTEC, said: “Although the economy is undoubtedly improving, energy prices remain a concern for consumers. This is underlined by the results of a poll conducted recently by Co-operative Energy which found that almost half of respondents were more worried about being able to afford their winter energy bills this year than they were in 2013.

“With this in mind, these latest figures should provide much comfort to off-gas grid households using oil who can be assured they are choosing the least expensive fuel option. In fact heating is the only fuel to have fallen in price over the past three years.”

In addition to favourable prices, oil users have the advantage of being able to choose to buy their fuel when prices are lower, while homeowners using LPG are often tied into long contracts, which limit their options. Oil users can also purchase through buying syndicates to secure more competitive prices. Furthermore, upgrading to a modern condensing boiler can reduce annual running costs by an average of £255, as well as significantly cut carbon emissions.

Jeremy said: “With the current extremely favourable oil price predicted to continue, there is every reason for those installing, servicing or using oil heating to feel confident. OFTEC will continue to fully support its registered technicians and, by listening to their needs and adapting to change, we will retain our position at the forefront of the off-grid heating sector for years to come.”

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