Heating oil is the most widely used fuel

home heating oil prices are down 

About Heating Oil

In off grid domestic central heating systems in the UK, heating oil is the most widely used fuel. We refer to it as home heating oil or domestic heating oil.

It is chosen for its winter performance, affordability, and because it offers a cleaner, more efficient and hotter burn compared to other liquid fuels.

Buying heating oil when prices are low could save you hundreds of pounds.

However, you’ll need to keep an eye on prices as cheap product may not last.

heating oil market price chart


Heating Oil Market Rates

Prices for heating oil, including sudden peaks and troughs, are largely affected by the price of crude oil.

This can fluctuate depending on the weather, political unrest and global production.

Recently, prices have been affected by the collapse in demand owing to the coronavirus pandemic. Local weather can affect the demand for heating oil, which in turn affects the price.

This includes prices for delivery, the amount you buy and depends on how far you are from a supplier.

How much does heating oil cost?

The price of heating oil can fluctuate and quite dramatically over time.

Having hovered between 30 and 35p per litre in 2016, it shot up to nearly 55p per litre in late 2018,  and stayed around 50p per litre until January 2020.

However, the price dropped dramatically in the spring and summer of 2020.

As at September 2020, domestic home heating oil costs 46% less than it did last year.  Furthermore, It has also reached its lowest price in 4 years and is 20% cheaper than in September 2016.

According to heatingoilshop.com’s records, the average UK cost of a litre of heating oil calculated between May 1st and today (16/9/2020) is is 26.62ppl (inc vat). Prices can vary greatly depending on your UK postcode, delivery to that postcode, the time of year you buy, crude oil prices and the amount you buy.

At this moment in time, crude oils were pushing higher as OPEC considers further production cuts so that crude oil prices can recover. As a consequence, when crude prices rise, domestic heating oil prices often follow 2 -3 days later.

In addition, we are a couple of weeks into the UK heating oil season where prices tend to creep up. By the same token oil distributor stocks of cheap oil are dwindling and prices will rise. Stock up now!

Keeping your home warm with oil central heating

Why are home heating oil prices low?

Historically, prices rise in the Autumn and Winter seasons but, are dependent on weather conditions, global production, political unrest and supply issues.

Heating oil is the most widely used off grid fuel. Consequently,  such price fluctuations can be a nightmare for many to manage.

Prices can also vary greatly depending on where you live in the UK, the time of year you buy, and the amount you buy.

As heating oil (kerosene) is a traded commodity,  prices can vary from hour to hour, and day to day.

In general, heating oil is more expensive in the winter  months than in the summer. Our advice is to fill up in the summer months and top up in the winter months.

Also, it’s best to try an avoid ordering at peak times such as just before Christmas and Easter. Ordering at the right times can save you £100’s a year!

Tips for buying cheap heating oil

We recommend ordering fuel when your oil tank levels reach 35% full. Consider having at least 6 weeks of oil in the winter to keep you going until your delivery arrives. Weather issues can disrupt the supply chain. 

In 2018 the “Beast from the East”,  interrupted supply and deliveries for three weeks across much of the UK.  If you do run out or need an emergency delivery, you will often end up paying a premium to a supplier for this service at any time.

  • Always use heatingoilshop.com and where you can get multiple commission and charge free quotes from local suppliers first.
  • Use other on line resources but not brokers. Brokers charge commission and other nefarious fees that put the pence per litre and final price up.
  • Don’t leave it to the last minute. Buy before your tank level is at 20%.
  • We always recommend buying in late summer early autumn.
  • Negotiate. The more quotes you have, the more bargaining power you will have.
  • Buy in bulk. It’s usually cheaper than buying small amounts. Clubbing together with others in your area, or joining a heating oil club, means you can buy larger quantities.
  • Plan ahead Keep an eye on the level in your tank – fast delivery is likely to cost more.
  • Compare prices Get quotes from different companies regularly.
  • Consider payment options Some companies charge if you pay by credit card, while you’ll have to enter into a contract with others to pay by direct debit.

UK heating oil prices are low at the moment because global oil demand has fallen. Covid-19 has caused lock downs across the world affecting consumers, industry and transportation.

Watch the weather and heating oil prices and don't be left out in the cold


Will heating oil prices rise this winter?

Equally important to remember is that no one can predict the future.

However, when itk comes to buying heating oil we can advise all users to buy in the summer and early autumn as demand is low.

As far as previous trends go, we can suggest it is likely to increase as winter draws closer.

Always check our daily twitterings on Twitter @ukheatingoils and follow us please. Heating oil is the most widely used fuel for off grid users so for current price trends, head on over to heatingoilshop.com and get multiple heating oil quotes from suppliers to your area.

Please check out our post on heating oil tanks and new legislation regarding heating oil boilers.

Every heating oil user must be aware of their legal obligations and costs associated with heating oil spills and leakages.

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