3 Tips to Secure the Best Oil Prices in Any Season

 October 05, 2020

Due to COVID-19 and the lockdowns around the world for both customers and industry, the global oil demand has plummeted. In July 2020, the price for kerosene went down to an average of 25p per litre – the lowest price it’s been in five years.

However, despite recent events, heating oil prices are in general known to vary, depending on a number of factors. But the good news is that you can still save money if you know how! Therefore, in this article, we’re going to explain our three top tips to help you secure the best oil prices in any season.

Tips for getting the Best Heating Oil Prices

Here are our top tips for getting the best heating oil prices throughout the changing seasons:

1. Monitor the Weather

Check weekly, fortnightly, and even monthly weather forecasts to ensure you are keeping track of the best home heating oil prices. Also, by doing this, you can not only make sure you have enough fuel for when the weather is bad, but it gives you a little heads up on when heating oil prices might drop a little if it gets warmer or there is a change in conditions.

Typically, heating oil prices are lower in the summer due to a demand reduction. Although this is usually the case, prices have been known to still fluctuate in the summertime, so it is still wise to keep an eye out on the market in general.

During the colder months from October to March, the UK tends to experience the highest demand for home heating oil. This results in a price increase for heating oil as the rise in demand puts a strain on supply. Although it may seem counterintuitive to purchase your home heating oil during the hot summer months, it can lead to the best deals due to the demand and price going down.  

To give you an indication, most people tend to purchase heating oil two to three times a year, depending on the size of their tank and the amount of energy they consume, and order around 1,000 and 2,000 litres.

2. Compare suppliers

Along with supply and demand being a key factor affecting your heating oil prices, the local competition also comes into play.

Heating oil suppliers will usually attempt to undercut their competitors and offer lower prices. However, it is important to note that, saving a few pennies of the price per litre of kerosene may not be worth it in the long run, as you may end up experiencing slow delivery times and poor customer service.

To prevent this from happening, you should conduct your own online research and look into company reviews on both their official website and on review sites, such as Trustpilot. Reading customer reviews will allow you to make an informed decision on the company’s credibility and ultimately decide whether you trust them or not.

It is important to compare as many quotes as you can from local and online companies, as heating oil prices vary between businesses and across the UK. Also, monitoring these quotes can be very useful, so you are in the know with regards to when and where you can get the very best heating oil prices on the market.

3. Buying in Bulk

As mentioned in our post explaining the best ways to lower your heating bill, another way of getting the best oil prices is buying in bulk. The more heating oil you purchase, the cheaper it will be! However, the amount of heating oil you can store depends on the capacity of your tank. The average size of a domestic heating oil tank is between 1,000 and 3,500 litres, and they should only be filled to approximately 80% to prevent spills.

This is why heating oil clubs are so popular, where a lot of residents in the local area utilise kerosene as their primary fuel source. It is cheaper for suppliers to deliver one large ‘bulk’ order to one area than it is for them to deliver several smaller orders in different areas.

Rix Petroleum currently serves many heating oil clubs all across the country, and we always ensure that we donate the savings we have made on the reduced transportation costs to great causes and local community projects!

Rix Services

Here at Rix, we want to provide you with the very best oil prices and ensure that all of our customers live comfortably all year round in fully fuelled homes.

As Rix have supplied heating oil for almost 100 years, we have been asked plenty of questions about heating oil prices. For more expert information, check out our heating oil price guide.

Alternatively, if you have an enquiry about our heating oil services, or are running low on fuel, contact your local depot where a member of our friendly team will help in any way they can. We have an excellent reputation for quick responses, competitive heating oil prices and trustworthy services, even in the harshest of weather conditions.

Click here to get an instant heating oil prices quote 

What does the future hold for energy prices

 May 20, 2013

Energy bills have been climbing steadily in recent years, and it doesn’t appear that the future is likely to provide any respite for cash-strapped consumers.

Figures brought to light by Labour’s Shadow Energy Secretary Caroline Flint have already revealed a wide gulf between the prices that gas and electricity suppliers pay for their energy, and the bill footed by consumers – with this difference rising by 39% for electricity and 69% for gas in the past 10 years.

This means that consumers have seen their energy bills climb by £250 a year (£91 for electricity and £165 for gas), putting an additional £6bn in the pockets of the UK’s leading energy suppliers, compared to a decade ago.

Commenting on the data, Ms Flint said: “They always blame rising global energy prices for putting up people’s bills, but these figures show they’ve been increasing their profits on the back of spiralling energy bills for hard-pressed households.”

A report by the Renewable Energy Foundation has argued that the UK government’s drive to increase the country’s reliance on renewable resources could cost each family an extra £600 a year by 2020.

Dr John Constable, director of the Renewable Energy Foundation, said: “Theannual additional cost to consumers will be upwards of £16bn a year in 2020, which is over 1 per cent of current GDP.

“One third of this cost would hit households directly through their electricity bills, regardless of income, making it an intensely regressive measure”.

Earlier this year, energy regulator Ofgem also argued that energy prices could also be set to soar as a result of the UK’s increasing reliance on gas imports.

However, while the Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) argues that while renewable power, nuclear and energy efficiency measures will add £286 to consumers energy bills by 2020, the fact that consumers will reduce their energy consumption will also mean that energy bills are lowered by £452 per household.

Ultimately, consumers can still work to find competitive energy prices for their needs, including the best domestic heating oil prices, regardless of what state the economic climate is in.

The quest for cheaper heating oil prices what do I need to consider

 May 21, 2013

 With 1.5 million consumers now using domestic oil to heat their homes, it is crucial to secure the best price on home heating oil for their needs to keep their energy costs down.

Here are just a few things that consumers need to consider when looking for cheaper heating oil prices:

Purchase time

As energy demand is generally lower in the summer, when warmer weather means we have less of a need to generate energy in our home for heating, this may be the perfect time to snap up domestic heating oil at prices that may be lower than the rest of the year.

Bulk Buy

As with most things, buying items in bulk can stand to make consumers significant savings on products compared to buying items individually. While many domestic heating oil suppliers will require a minimum order of 500 litres, by purchasing double this amount (1,000 litres), or even going beyond this figure, the price you pay per litre could drop even further.

Even if you only save 1p per litre, this will add up to a £10 saving each time you order 1,000 litres.

Payment method

It is important to identify which payment method incurs the least or no charges with your home heating oil supplier, whether that’s paying the total bill upfront or making payments by direct debit instead of your credit card.

Energy efficiency

While price is obviously one of the key factors in securing domestic heating oil that falls in line with your needs and budget, it is also important to consider the energy efficiency of the oil you are buying, so you can maximise the heat gains from this energy source.

Boiler maintenance

To ensure your heat oil tank stays in good working order it is important to have it serviced every 12 months and check for leaks on a regular basis.

Fitting insulation to your oil tank and pipes connected to it could also help to minimise heat loss from your tank.

What kind of factors affect oil prices

 June 12, 2013

Like a number of fuels, home heating oil prices can fluctuate depending on what is going on with the wider market, meaning that the cost of heating oil may not always be consistent throughout the year.

This means that home heating oil users will need to regularly monitor the cost of their heating oil to ensure that they are getting the best possible price at any one time.

Here are just some of the factors that can impact the cost of home heating oil:

Demand from world’s top oil consumers

The United States and China are the top two consumers of oil in the world, and as a result they both have a huge impact on the oil market at large. It is suggested that the better an economy is faring in terms of employment levels and house prices etc, the greater the demand for oil and the higher the price that consumers can expect to pay for oil.

Currently, the US economy has recently been upgraded to ‘stable’ from a previous rating of ‘negative’ in 2011 by ratings agency Standard & Poor, indicating that it is showing tentative signs of recovery. However, experts have argued that China could miss its growth target of 7.5% in 2013 because of low 1% growth in exports in May.

Despite these contrasting figures, the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting (OPEC) has forecasted that world oil demand will increase to 900,000 barrels per day (bpd) in the second half of 2013, compared to 700,000 bpd in the first half of the year.

Exchanges rates

As oil is traded in US dollars, the value of the pound against the dollar will have a bearing on oil prices i.e. the stronger the pound, the lower the price you should pay for your home heating oil and vice versa. The latest figures have revealed that the dollar remains higher against the pound.

War and natural disasters

If there is political unrest in a country or the potential threat of war, consumers may ‘panic buy’ large quantities of oil for fear that it will be hard to access this energy source, if a country slips into disarray. As there are a number of key oil producers in the Middle East then any political instability in this region could affect the worldwide oil prices.

Natural disasters can also cut off oil supply. As an example, in 2005 Hurricane Katrina stopped oil production along the Southern Gulf Coast, sending oil prices soaring.

Despite what is happening around the globe you can get the best deal on your home heating oil prices by asking your supplier for home heating oil offers, buying in bulk and buying in the summer months, when oil demand is generally lower. 

Heating Oil prices update

 April 16, 2014

So far in 2014 heating oil prices have remained relatively low and at times prices have been at their lowest point in the last 12-18 months.

There are a number of factors influencing heating oil prices. These factors will impact oil prices at international, national and regional levels and will all influence the price that you pay to heat your home.

The winter of 2013 and 2014 has been extremely mild which has played a big part in the low heating oil prices we have seen over the last few months. A cold winter can play a huge role in driving heating oil prices up as demand soars.

Other factors that can influence these changes are global events such as war, natural disasters and fuel strikes at refineries. For example due to the recent unrest in Ukraine Oil prices rose to a five-week high as tension escalated between Ukraine and Russia, the world’s biggest energy exporter. A halt of Russian crude and natural gas supplies through Ukraine “could be hugely impactful,”said analysts . Any sanctions on Russia’s energy industry would cause prices to “spike much higher,” he said in a report earlier this week.

If you look at the graph below, you can see key events that happened around the world and the effect they had on crude oil prices over the last 5 years.

So what can you do to help minimize the effect of these external factors effecting how much you pay for your heating oil?

At Rix, we recommend you plan your heating oil deliveries in advance. Ordering at quieter times of the year can help influence the price you pay, for example, during the summer months, heating oil demand is usually at its lowest and therefore there is a surplus of supply, which in turn will lead to lower prices. However, with a lack of planning, you may find yourself having to order as a cold-weather spell moves in, such as snow. In this instance customers generally, panic buy which leads to a strain on the supply chain, which can significantly increase the price of heating oil. 

The size of your heating oil order also influences the price you may pay. If a distributor is able to deliver a larger volume to your tank, typically the cost of delivery will be less. Therefore the customer will benefit from a lower cost per litre.

Remember, Heating Oil prices change on a daily basis as it is a commodity product. You can check heating oil prices with distributors either by calling them or as in the case of Rix Petroleum, we offer a live online price which you can get for deliveries from 500 litre’s or more. Simply click here and enter your details on the next page to get a live heating oil quote.

Heating oil prices and what you need to know

May 20, 2016

Heating oil is an essential resource for many homes in the UK: according to OFTEC, an estimated 1.4 million households are reliant on the fuel to provide their homes with warmth through the winter months and cold snaps. It provides the most reliable and cost-effective fuel solution for those homes not connected to the national grid.

If your home requires heating oil, you will be aware that the price you pay for your oil will differ from delivery to delivery. There are many factors that affect the price of oil, causing the ever-shifting price of the product for homeowners. In this guide, we will take a closer look at what these factors are and what you should consider if you want to benefit from the best prices.

What affects the price of heating oil?

Home heating oil prices will rise and fall through the year, as the market is affected by many global, national, and local factors which can have a direct effect.

Global crude oil prices

The price that oil suppliers set is influenced by the global price of crude oil, which is determined by the buyers who are responsible for purchasing oil futures. An oil futures contract involves a company that produces oil coming to an agreement with a buyer to sell them oil at a certain point in the future. Buyers use these deals to try to protect themselves from rising prices that could take place between the present and the time they need more oil.

The price of these futures is dictated by the outlook of the market, which is the overall attitude of investors towards the direction the market is headed in. The outlook can be positive or negative based on investor behaviour and trade prices. When the sentiment of the market is positive, prices will usually be set to rise and many buyers will go ahead and make deals at the current lower price, increasing the demand for oil. The opposite can happen when the market outlook is negative, and prices can tumble.

Oversupply and undersupply of oil

As with most products, when there is a plentiful supply of oil, prices are more likely to remain low. In recent years, the USA has embarked on widespread shale oil drilling, also known as fracking, which has turned them into the world’s biggest producer of oil.

This free-flowing supply of oil from the USA, as well as the development of the shale oil industry in other countries, has flooded the market, causing oil prices to fall and keep on falling. According to the government’s figures, in January 2013 heating oil was priced at 57.58 pence per litre, whereas the price had fallen to 22.81 pence per litre by January 2016.

The graph below shows the steady decline of typical heating oil prices over the last three years, from January 2013 to December 2015.

While oil refineries and exporters have been losing out, home and business owners have been able to enjoy lower prices than usual for the last few years.

The market demand for oil

There can also be increases and decreases in the demand for heating oil. Generally, in the winter months when temperatures plummet, there is a greater need for homes and businesses that rely on heating oil for warmth to resupply, which can lead to a greater demand for suppliers and a higher domestic oil price. Likewise, unexpected cold snaps can also cause people to use up their supply when they were not expecting to, so they may require an emergency refill.

Unforeseen warm weather can have the opposite effect — home and business owners may find that they do not need to heat their properties when they might have anticipated, meaning that their supplies will last longer. For heating oil suppliers, this lack of demand can lead to surpluses and, consequently, lower prices.

Other influencers

Outside of these main influencers on heating oil prices, there are several others. These include:

  • Refining costs: These are the costs incurred by refineries when crude oil is processed to become usable as heating oil. If the cost to undertake this process is higher, then distributors can expect to pay more for the oil. They are then subsequently forced to increase prices for the end user.
  • Conflict in oil-producing areas: If there is conflict in an oil-rich area, it makes the job of exporting the oil a lot more dangerous. The extra risk incurred by exporters causes prices to rise. Conflict can also have a major effect on the amount of oil that can be exported, often reducing the volume that leaves the area significantly, which can cause shortages and increased demand.
  • Exchange rates: Unfavourable exchange rates can raise the prices paid for oil, which can have a knock-on effect for suppliers and customers.
  • Distribution costs: If extra costs are incurred to the supplier when bringing the heating oil into the country or when delivering it to homes, customers may experience a rise in product price. Causes for increased distribution costs can range from poor weather conditions to fuel blockades or strikes.
  • Value-added tax (VAT): VAT paid by distributors and customers can be increased or decreased depending on the economy of the country. For example, VAT was increased from 17.5% to 20% in the UK in 2011 as a result of the financial crisis.

When should I buy my heating oil?

As there are so many factors that could affect the prices of heating oil, it can be very difficult to predict the what the prices of oil will be, especially in a volatile market as it is at the moment. In the past when the market was less unstable, there was usually a dip in prices during the summer months when demand was lower, and a rise during the autumn and winter.

To give you a sense of the annual pattern that heating oil prices have taken since prices began to fall in 2014, the below graph represents an average monthly cost taken from 2014 and 2015. As you can see, there is an almost continual slide in prices, so previous seasonal patterns like the summer dip and the autumn/winter rise have been negated by continuously falling prices.

If we add a comparative set of average typical heating oil prices from 2010 and 2011 onto the graph below, it is possible to see not only the difference in price between the two time periods but the difference in the seasonal price trends.

The blue line on this chart has a very different shape to the red, with a visible dip in prices during the summer months (June-August) and a peak during the autumn and winter (September-December). In this case, September was probably the time that people began to think about buying their heating oil for the winter, contributing to the rise in price. The rising price during the Spring months can be attributed to the unrest in the Middle-East during early 2011. This wave-like line is indicative of a more predictable stable market, following a falling and rising pattern that had been established in previous years.

While the market is in its current state, it is difficult to offer any general rule to get the best prices for your heating oil. Many industry experts have predicted that a recovery could take place sooner rather than later, which could return the market to a more traditional price pattern.

Here at Rix Petroleum, we offer a free heating oil quote service that can give you a quick and easy price for your delivery. We recommend that you use this service often to check the price of oil we can offer you — that way, you can be sure that you will not miss out on the best prices.

Buying heating oil during the summer

When the oil market is stable, we recommend to our customers that heating oil prices are usually the lowest during the summer months.

Not only is demand much more likely to be lower in the warmer weather, but you can enjoy the practical benefits that come with ordering in this season. Ordering in the summer will make sure that you are prepared for the potential cold snaps that are commonplace in the autumn and early winter months, lowering the risk of running low or having to order emergency fuel. Ordering in the winter often means that you will have to wait longer for your oil, with more demand and difficult driving conditions often slowing the speed at which suppliers are able to deliver to you.

If you have oil delivered during the warmer weather, it is likely that you will be keeping it stored in your tank until conditions worsen and you need to use it. Heating oil tanks can be valuable targets for thieves due to their remote location and lack of security, and the extended period of time you will be storing oil can increase the risk of theft. Read our heating oil theft prevention guide to find out how you can secure your tank against intruders.

Heating oil prices vs. other household fuels

For the past two years, oil has been the cheapest fuel for heating homes, undercutting gas, electricity, LPG, wood pellets, and coal. Where the pricing for heating oil has always been competitive, the recent falling in prices has now made it the most cost-effective fuel.

The table below contains comparative data for England, Scotland, and Wales from the Energy Saving Trust for the most widely sourced heating fuels used by households. Their data was last updated in March 2016 and is based on figures from the last 12 months.

Fuel typeAverage fuel price (pence/kWh)Standing charge (£/year)
Heating oil3.58
Electricity (standard rate)13.8669.04
Electricity (off peak economy 7)7.2179.18
Wood pellets4.34
Coal/solid fuel3.94

Unlike the two other most popular fuels, gas and electricity, users of heating oil have been able to directly benefit from the worldwide price drop, saving hundreds of pounds on their bills. The others have also experienced dips in recent times, but suppliers have failed to pass on the price drop to their customers.

Both the electricity and gas markets have been subject to the oversupply, mild winter temperatures, and lower global commodity prices that have seen the cost of energy on the wholesale market, as determined by the ICIS Power Index, fall to £36.76 per megawatt hour.

Taking gas as an example, while the wholesale price tumbled by 34% in 2015, the biggest reduction that homeowners saw in their bills was 5% made by one leading gas supplier — many other firms did not make a reduction to their prices.

With the money-saving benefits of using heating oil now well established, it is little surprise that some households using LPG and electricity have looked to switch to using oil. With no definite rise in prices forecast for the near future, it would not be surprising to see more and more people looking to take advantage of the UK’s cheapest fuel source.

Making heating oil affordable

At Rix, we realise that many homeowners are unable to order a full tank during the summer, so we are pleased to be able to offer you access to our Monthly Budget Payment Plan so that you can spread the cost over a longer period of time. You may benefit from organising or joining a community oil-buying group, especially if you live in a rural or remote area.

Cut the cost of kerosene Top tips for saving money on your heating oil bills

 November 10, 2016

To help you get the most from your heating oil and make your home as energy efficient as possible, we’ve put together this guide full of our top tips. Read on to find out how you could save money when buying your heating oil and make energy-efficient home improvements that will help to reduce your heating bills in the long term.

Track of the price of heating oil

The price of heating oil fluctuates with the global markets; tracking these fluctuations can help you to buy your kerosene at the best price.

If you want to know more about when is traditionally a good time to buy your heating oil to ensure you’re getting the lowest price, make sure to check out our complete guide to heating oil prices.

Join a heating oil buying group

Joining a heating oil buying group can offer some great benefits. However, they do also have their drawbacks, so we recommend doing your research before joining one to ensure it is right for your circumstances.  

Consider a premium heating oil

Just as premium road fuels can improve your car’s performance and MPG, premium heating oils can reduce the energy bills of an average sized family home by up to 10%.

A premium kerosene such as K+ heating oil that has been treated with special additives will burn more cleanly and efficiently than standard heating oil. This will not only help to reduce your annual energy bills, but also help to prolong the lifespan of your oil boiler.

Protect your heating oil from thieves

Heating oil theft is a common problem among the rural community, and although it is difficult to stop it altogether, there are a number of steps you can take to ensure your oil tank is as secure as possible. Have a read of the guidance we’ve put together in our heating oil theft prevention guide to ensure you’re fully protected.

Improve the energy efficiency of your home

To ensure you’re getting the most from your heating oil, you should also make sure your home is as energy efficient as possible so the same amount of kerosene goes further. The older your home, the less energy-efficient its design is likely to be, and the greater savings you can expect to make with these improvements. 

Properly insulate your home

If you’re looking to improve the energy efficiency of your home, your first step should be making sure it is well insulated. Insulating your loft, wall cavities, and floors will help retain heat within your home, saving you money. Draught-proofing is another simple solution that will save you hundreds of pounds on your energy bills over the years.

How much will insulation save you on energy bills?

To illustrate just how cost-effective insulating your home can be, here’s a breakdown of the savings you can make by installing each kind of insulation.

Roof and loft insulation

Hot air rises, so thoroughly insulating your roof and loft is the natural place to start when you’re looking to improve your home’s energy efficiency.

According to the Energy Saving Trust, loft insulation up to the recommended standard of 270mm will cost approximately £300 to install in a typical semi-detached house and lead to savings of £140 a year. After 10 years, this means the average semi-detached house can expect to save around £1,100.

It should be noted that you can cut the cost of loft insulation by fitting it yourself, giving you an even better return on investment. If you aren’t planning on walking in your loft or using it as storage space, this is as easy as laying a few layers of insulation roll or panels over the joists (the beams that make up the floor of the loft) and stapling them down.

If you will need to walk over the floor of your loft, the upgrade will be a bit trickier, as you’ll need to lay mineral wool between the joists, followed by a layer of insulation boards topped with wooden boarding.

If you’d rather have a professional install your loft insulation for you, you can use the National Insulation Association website to find an accredited installer near you. 

Cavity and solid wall insulation

When it is warmer in your home than it is outside, you can lose substantial amounts of heat through your external walls if they aren’t properly insulated.

Cavity walls are made of two layers of brick with a gap between them. These provide more insulation than solid walls, which are simply made of a single layer of brick.

If your house was built before 1919, it is likely to have solid external walls. These will cost more to insulate, but you’ll also make greater savings on your energy bills each year by doing so.

According to figures from the Energy Saving Trust, it costs around £475 to insulate the cavity walls of a typical semi-detached house. This will lead to an anticipated saving of £155 a year — that’s a total saving of £1,075 after a decade. 

If your property has solid external walls, you can either insulate them from the outside or the inside. External solid wall insulation is the most popular option, as insulating the inside of the walls makes the affected rooms slightly smaller.

While there are many factors that affect the price of having your solid walls insulated, external insulation generally costs between £8,000–£22,000, while internal insulation costs between £3,500–£14,000. According to the Energy Saving Trust, this will reduce the typical semi-detached house’s heating bills by around £260 a year.

Floor insulation

Another way of cutting down your energy bills is insulating your floor. Older homes are likely to have suspended timber floors, and mineral wool insulation can be fitted underneath the floorboards and suspended from the joists with netting. You can also help draught-proof your house by filling in any gaps between the floorboards and skirting boards with decorator’s caulk. 

If you’re not sure what kind of flooring your home has, check for airbricks (ventilated bricks) at the bottom few rows of bricks in your external walls — these are needed to prevent wooden floorboards from rotting.

If you have solid concrete floors, rigid insulation board can either be laid on top of the floor, or the concrete can be excavated and then re-laid with the insulation under the surface. While the former option is cheaper, it will raise the height of your floor — this may affect skirting boards, plug sockets, and doorframes.

It should be noted that there’s no need to insulate the floors of upstairs rooms unless they’re above an unheated space, such as a garage.

If your home has suspended timber floors, it will typically cost between £300–£750 to have them insulated. Solid concrete floors, on the other hand, will cost around £1,000–£2,000 to insulate. According to figures from the Energy Saving Trust, this will save the typical semi-detached household around £40–£55 a year.

Draught-proofing your home

While every building needs to have adequate ventilation to prevent condensation and damp, the airflow into your property should always be controlled. Unwanted draughts can significantly reduce your property’s energy efficiency.

An easy and affordable way to cut down your energy bills and make your heating oil go further is, therefore, to thoroughly draft-proof your home. Depending on how insulated your property already is, this simple upgrade — which you can perform yourself in an afternoon — could potentially save you up to £50 a year on your heating bills.

Common areas where you’ll find draughts include:

  • windows and external doors,
  • loft hatches,
  • suspended floorboards,
  • pipework leading outside, and
  • ceiling-to-wall joints.

The materials needed to draught-proof these areas can be picked up from any good DIY store and will come to a few hundred pounds at the very most. The more draught-proofing your property requires, the more money you’ll save on your energy bills each year.

If you have a fireplace you rarely use, you should make sure to draught-proof that as well. Fireplaces are specifically designed to draw air up and out of a building — as fireplaces are usually found in main living spaces, this means you’re more likely to turn the heating up to compensate for the lost heat, raising your energy bills. It is possible to get removable chimney draught excluders which block off your chimney stack and improve your home’s energy efficiency but can be removed whenever you want to use your fire.

If there are any rooms in your house that you don’t keep heated, such as a garage or spare room, you should install draught excluders on the doors and keep them closed.

When you’re draught-proofing your home, you should be careful not to block any intentional ventilation, as every property requires a certain amount of fresh air to flow in and out to prevent damp. Make sure to leave extractor fans, external airbricks and wall vents, and window trickle vents unobstructed so the air within your home is still circulated.

Energy-efficient windows

If your home currently has single-glazed windows, you could significantly cut your annual energy bills by replacing them with double-glazed units. Just how much will depend on the size of your home.

While it can cost thousands of pounds to have all the windows in your property replaced, double glazing has a lifespan of around 20 years, so you’ll recoup the costs several times over during its full life.

When upgrading your windows, keep in mind that not all double glazing is created equal. Manufacturers can submit their products to be evaluated by the British Fenestration Rating Council (BFRC), who will mark the product with an energy rating from A+ to G. Find your nearest BFRC-approved supplier on the BFRC website, and buy windows with an A+ rating for the maximum level of energy efficiency.

How to run an energy-efficient household

Once you’ve made these improvements to your home, it will be significantly more energy-efficient, and your heating oil will go a lot further. However, there’s still plenty you can do on a day-to-day basis to reduce your energy bills.

Wrap up warm

While it may sound obvious, it is worth mentioning that you should wrap up warm before turning your heating on when the temperature drops. Donning a few extra layers and cuddling up under a blanket could be all it takes to keep warm, and while you should always be comfortable in your own home, this can be a great way to cut down on your energy bills at the beginning and end of winter when temperatures aren’t too low.

Make sure all windows and doors are closed

You may leave your bathroom or kitchen windows open to release condensation, but during winter it is important to close these as soon as possible.

As previously mentioned, you should also make sure you keep internal doors leading to unoccupied rooms closed at all times. This will stop as much heat from leaking into these unused spaces as possible.

Bleed your radiators

To make sure your radiators are working as efficiently as possible, you should bleed them every year. This is a simple maintenance task you’ll be able to perform yourself in no more than half an hour — all you’ll need is a radiator key (which you can pick up at any DIY store if you don’t already own one) and a cloth to catch any drips. 

Turn off your central heating, and insert your radiator key into the first radiator’s valve. Hold a cloth underneath the valve to catch any escaping liquid. Slowly turn the key anti-clockwise, and you should hear a hissing sound as the trapped air escapes. Once there is no more air left in the radiator, dark liquid may start to leak out — at this point, you should quickly close the valve and wipe up any liquid with a cloth.

After you’ve bled every radiator in your home, your central heating system will run much more efficiently, as your radiators will be able to fully heat up.

Have your oil boiler serviced

Having your oil boiler serviced every year will ensure it is running at maximum efficiency, helping to save you money on your heating bills. Oil boilers should always be inspected by an OFTEC-certified technician — find one who operates in your local area on the OFTEC website.

If your boiler is 10–15 years old, you should consider having it replaced even if it is in full working order, as a more recent model will be significantly more energy efficient.

If you live in Lincolnshire, Yorkshire, or the east coast of Scotland, you can take advantage of oil boiler servicing and breakdown support from our own OFTEC-certified engineers.

Heat your home the smart way

The World Health Organisation recommends that all occupied rooms are kept at 18°C, apart from the living room, which should be kept at 21°C. To ensure your comfort in the most economical way possible, you should time your heating to only come on when you need it.

Over the last few years, there have been some developments in thermostat technology that can help you significantly reduce your annual energy bills. Known as ‘smart thermostats’, these clever bits of tech allow you to control your central heating remotely using an app on your smartphone or tablet. The latest generation of smart thermostats can even learn your habits and preferences, and completely automate heating your home in the most energy-efficient way possible.

This tech can cost a few hundred pounds to buy and install, but it can help you make savings on your annual energy bills. However, the claims about how much these products can save you on the manufacturers’ websites often use best-case-scenario figures as a comparison, so they should be taken with a pinch of salt if you are already quite conscientious with your heating. That being said, the level of control offered by these smart thermostats can help you slash your energy bills, and having one installed may even increase the sell-on value of your home.

No matter how smart your thermostat is, you can save money by making sure to keep the radiators turned off in any rooms that you don’t use. If this is a guest room, remember to turn it back on if you have guests staying over and then turn it back off once they are gone.

While it can be difficult to get your washing dried in the winter if you don’t have a tumble dryer, you should avoid covering your radiators with your washing, as this will trap the heat and prevent your house from warming up. Your clothes will take longer to dry on a clothes horse placed in a warm room, but this will be a lot more energy efficient.

Follow the advice presented in this guide and hopefully you will be able to make some savings on your heating oil and energy bills for years to come, as well as increase the sell-on value of your home in instances where you have made the recommended home improvements.

If you’ve got any questions about getting the most from your kerosene, oil tank or oil boiler, get in touch with an expert member of our team today.

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How could today’s OPEC meeting affect Heating Oil prices

 November 30, 2016

Today’s the day where all eyes will be on Vienna, where the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) are holding a meeting to discuss the possibilities of cutting crude oil production, with the aim to decrease the production to meet global consumption, resulting in the increase of crude oil prices.

The reason for the proposed cut is due to the recent surplus of crude oil that has flooded the global market, causing oil prices to fall and keep on falling.

In previous meetings, Iran has been reluctant to agree to a cut in production and we’ve heard it on the grapevine that they could be given authorisation to cap the amount of crude oil they produce rather than reduce it, which will make an OPEC agreement more likely.

What will this mean for the price of your Heating Oil? Typically the price of Heating Oil increases with demand, so a slight hike in price is not uncommon at this time of year, but if previous OPEC meetings are anything to go by, Heating Oil prices have risen during the days before and after the event. In September this year OPEC vowed to limit production by approximately 700,000 barrels a day. Following this announcement we saw oil prices rise, but when a definite decision wasn’t made, traders had second thoughts and prices began to decrease again. Today, the BBC has reported that oil prices have risen by more than 8% as energy minister attend the meeting in Vienna.

We don’t know what the world’s largest oil producing countries will decide today, we could see the production cuts blocked or for the first time in 8 years, the production of crude oil in countries such as Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Russia could be cut.

Be assured that whatever the outcome, we will keep our customers up to date with all the news.

Why not top up your Heating Oil tank now to be on the safe side? Get a free instant quote here

1/12/16 UPDATE: We can confirm that the 14-nation OPEC members have secured a deal to cut the production of crude oil by 1.2m barrels per day from 1st January. Although no firm commitment has been made by non OPEC member Russia, it is believed that they will also cut their production by up to 300,000 barrels per day.