June 06, 2013

If you have just made the move to a new area which is off the National Gas Grid, the thought of making the transition to domestic heating oil may seem a little daunting.

However, with 1.5 million users of domestic oil around the UK, heating oil is widely used and widely available – with a number of oil suppliers across the country.

Below is a brief guide to heating oil for new users:

What is heating oil?

Heating oil is otherwise known as kerosene, and is a clear liquid derived from crude oil that is used to power oil-fired boilers, responsible for your heating and hot water, Aga cookers and other appliances in the home.

How do I get heating oil to my home?

Heating oil is supplied by a number of firms, all of which will deliver heating oil to an onsite tank located on your property, which then pipes the oil into your home. Tanks can either be purchased outright or rented from your heating oil supplier.

How much heating oil do I need to order?

Before you order your home heating oil you will need to check the maximum capacity of your tank. While most companies will have a minimum order of 500 litres, many heating oil users will order 1,000 to 2,000 litres at one time, to ensure that they have a constant supply of heating oil. The price of each litre of oil may also go down if you buy in bulk.

You can also fit a monitor to warn you when your heating oil supplies are running low.

How will I pay for my home heating oil?

Unlike payments for gas and electricity, which are usually made on a monthly or quarterly basis, heating oil is paid for upfront at the time you make your order. The benefit of this payment method is that your fuel payments have all been made in advance and you won’t be surprised by a shock bill at the end of the month or quarter.

However, it is important to note that the price of heating oil can fluctuate according to how crude oil is performing in the wider market – much like diesel and petrol prices.

Do I need to protect my heating oil tank?

Because heating oil tanks are vulnerable to oil theft, it is important to take some simple steps to ensure that your oil is sufficiently safeguarded. This can include anything from fitting your tank with a lock which is specially designed for the purpose to moving your tank to a more secure position on your site.

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