As the latest quarterly energy price data is released and with temperatures dropping, off grid energy trade association, The Federation of Petroleum Suppliers (FPS), has launched their ‘Get Winter Ready’ campaign and is urging the 1.25m households across Great Britain who use oil to heat their homes to be prepared for the cold weather.
For those living off the gas grid, Sutherland Tables, a recognised independent source of comparative domestic heating prices, say the average annual cost of heating a three-bedroom home in Great Britain with heating oil is £1178 per year and is cheaper than an LPG condensing boiler at £1,647 per annum, and nearly half the cost of electric storage heaters at £2069 per annum.
Running an oil condensing boiler also remains far cheaper than any renewable heating options; including air source heat pumps (with radiators) at £1,805 per year, heat pumps underfloor heating at £1380 and biomass (wood pellets) at £1,548 per annum.
“Forecasters are predicting we are in for a bad winter this year and as a result we want to ensure heating oil consumers don’t get caught out. Last year with the ‘Beast From The East’ and other cold snaps our members saw double the seasonal norm of heating oil being ordered and many routes were impassable making deliveries extremely difficult. Being prepared really does make all the difference when it comes to staying warm all winter,” explains Guy Pulham, CEO of the FPS.
“By planning ahead and being prepared before the bad weather arrives, you can ensure you have everything you need to heat your home when the weather gets cold – and make sure you can manage the additional heating costs as well.”
“Many of our members offer monthly payment schemes that enable customers to spread the cost and avoid a large upfront bill – it certainly makes sense to buy in advance and pay off over the winter months, as this works out cheaper for consumers and means they won’t run out of fuel when they need it the most.
“After the savage weather we had last winter, with the Beast from the East putting enormous pressure on our suppliers to get fuel to consumers, we urge everyone to stock up on heating oil now and to carry out all system checks before the weather worsens.
“It is also important when bad weather hits to be patient and trust your regular local supplier. Your local FPS heating oil distributor has depots and tankers operating in your local area. Please give them a call as they will be able to provide you with accurate local information and up to date delivery schedules. Please also remember to check the level of oil in your tank on a regular basis as you may be using more heating oil in these conditions and tell your heating oil supplier when you will run out so that they can prioritise and don’t leave it until the last minute.
“As part of our ‘Get Winter Ready’ campaign we have been promoting the ‘Cold Weather Priority’ initiative. The initiative has been introduced to help reduce excess winter deaths by prioritising householders aged 75 and over for heating oil deliveries. If you or your loved ones fall into this category, be sure to let your/their local FPS member supplier know so that you/they can be prioritised this winter,” adds Guy Pulham
As part of ensuring you are ready for what winter has instore, the FPS also recommends that you check your oil tank, pipes and other equipment for any leaks, damage or signs of wear, on a regular basis so you can fix any issues as soon as possible. Have your boiler serviced once a year by an OFTEC registered engineer too.
Also consider upgrading old boilers for a modern condensing boiler which will run far more efficiently and reduce running costs compared with non-condensing boilers and a fuel saving of up to 30% can be expected. A more efficient oil condensing boiler can also reduce CO2 emissions by 30%.
As well as boiler efficiency, there are other steps you can take to save money on heating this winter. For example, you can insulate your home and turn the thermostat down a couple of degrees when possible.
For more information on keeping warm this winter and tips on saving energy and money on heating bills visit the website. You can also find your nearest FPS member heating oil distributor and OFTEC registered technician.