Avoid price rises by following our top tips on how to get the best price for heating oil
The average cost of a litre of heating oil was 43p in January 2017, but at the same time last year it was considerably cheaper, at 32p.
These average figures from Sutherland Tables*, which collects pricing information from across the UK, show how much the price of heating oil can fluctuate.
The average heating oil price across 2016 was comparatively low – around 32p. But at the start of 2015, it was even higher than this year – 46p.
From the basics on using heating oil to maintaining and protecting your tank, read our comprehensive guide for all you need to know about heating oil.
Save on heating oil
The cost of heating oil is tied to the price of crude oil, which can be affected by the weather and global issues, such as political unrest. Take a look at these prices as an example.
- January 2015 – 46p
- October 2015 – 35p
- January 2016 – 32p
- October 2016 – 35p
- January 2017 – 43p
But there are things you can do to try and cut the cost. Follow our five tips below, and visit our guide to getting the best heating oil prices.
1. Buy heating oil in bulk
The more you buy, the cheaper it will be. Most domestic heating oil tanks can fit between 1,000 and 2,000 litres of heating oil.
But make sure you don’t fill it to more than 80-90% of its capacity to avoid leakages.
You could also club together with people in your area – ideally 20 people or more – or join one of the many free heating oil clubs across the UK.
2. Buy ahead in the summer
Heating oil deliveries are likely to be more expensive if you need one quickly, so plan ahead as much as possible. Also, heating oil is generally cheaper in summer as demand is lower.
But that’s not always the case. For example, in summer 2016 it was 33p, while in April it was 30p. So keep an eye on prices so you can react quickly if they go up.
3. Compare heating oil prices and negotiate
It’s worth regularly getting quotes from local companies. That way you’ll know when prices drop and be able to snap up a cheaper rate.
Also, the more quotes you get, the more leverage you will have to negotiate a better price.
4. Be careful how you pay
Some companies charge if you pay by credit card, and others will lock you into a contract if you pay by direct debit.
A contract could be a good thing if it means the company will also monitor how much oil you have left in your tank and alert you if it needs refilling. But it stops you from shopping around.
5. Maintain and protect your tank
Make sure your tank is protected against theft – heating oil is a pricey commodity that you wouldn’t want to suddenly lose.
Servicing your tank yearly will ensure you avoid missing issues that could be costly if left unchecked, such as a leak or sludge in your tank.
See our page on maintaining your tank and fixing issues for more advice.
(*Sutherland Tables prices are based on using kerosene heating oil over each quarter of the year. For example, January figures are an average across November, December and January.)