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Cost of oil central heating
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# 1
linlin
Old 06-03-2006, 3:31 PM
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Default Cost of oil central heating

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A property I may be interested in has oil fired central heating. I asked the estate agent some questions and was told the boiler is 7 to 8 yrs old, is a Camroy 2 and the current owners have had two oil deliveries in the past year costing approx 160 each. The EA forgot to ask about quantities, but I guess this has to be 2 x 500 litre deliveries

I estimate the house is approx. 1400 sq ft on one floor.

320 pa for heating seems very low and I'm wondering if I've been told the truth or not.

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# 2
Debt_Free_Chick
Old 06-03-2006, 3:58 PM
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Well I've just spat my coffee all over the monitor

I live in a detached house, reasonably well insulated (could be improved) but without double glazing.

We paid 1500 for oil in the past 12 months. Oil fired boilers are notorious for burning oil like money going out of fashion. We have an Aga that provides all our cooking and hot water, but have been told that it's the boiler eating oil. We also have a Camry ... supposed to be a reliable and well respected make for an oil fired boiler.

320 worth of oil is equivalent to about 900 litres over the past 12 months - a standard tank full. I can't see how it can be done .... I guess a single storey building might account for some difference in my oil consumption .... but they're using only one-fifth of the amount we use ......?

Hang around for others to chip in, but I'm staggered.
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# 3
paul_h
Old 06-03-2006, 7:37 PM
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Aga's do guzzle oil a bit.

However, 320 worth of oil is nowhere near the mark, unless they use the heating very sparingly... perhaps a few years ago when oil was 10-15p/litre, but not nowadays. Are they using any supplemental heating - coal fire maybe?

An average house requires about 15,000 kWh of energy per annum to heat, and a further 5000 kWh for hot water. Using 28 second grade oil with your boiler, which will be about 70% efficient, that equates to around 2800 litres.

About 900 at todays oil prices...

This could be reduced by perhaps 25% if the house was 'super-insulated'.

Last edited by paul_h; 06-03-2006 at 7:42 PM.
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# 4
Jillinoz
Old 10-03-2006, 8:43 PM
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My response is of the coffee-spluttering variety, too!

I live in a 3,500 sq ft farmhouse in Yorkshire, with a reasonably new (and well serviced) oil-fired boiler (for hot water and CH) and oil-fired Aga (for cooking and frozen human de-thawing!). Even with minimum heating and maximum layers of clothing, the cheapest we've been able to reduce our fuel bill to is 100 a month.
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# 5
Skiduck
Old 11-03-2006, 10:29 AM
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as the boiler is a boulter camray 2, it is going to be about 70% efficient, so what you have been told is a crock of ....

just looked on http://www.sedbuk.com/ and camray 2 is too old to be defined there, so 70% is a max you will get out of it. I also know that it is more than 7 or 8 years old - try 15
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# 6
littlereddevil
Old 11-03-2006, 10:31 AM
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I have a tank holding 1100 litres and need to fill it 4 times a year.i find oil much more expensive than gas in my old house but then gas is now going up a lot. by the way there are only 2 of us!
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# 7
paul_h
Old 11-03-2006, 1:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skiduck
as the boiler is a boulter camray 2, it is going to be about 70% efficient, so what you have been told is a crock of ....

just looked on http://www.sedbuk.com/ and camray 2 is too old to be defined there, so 70% is a max you will get out of it. I also know that it is more than 7 or 8 years old - try 15
I think you're right, I reckon I was being generous at 70% - but even giving it the benefit of the doubt, it does demonstrate how expensive oil fired CH is to run.

If you are in a rural area, solid fuel CH boilers, although expensive to install, and not as convenient, is far cheaper to run now. The days of cheap oil are over - I struggle to understand why people are still installing oil boilers. The Trianco gravity fed boilers don't really need much attention...

Quote:
Originally Posted by littlereddevil
i find oil much more expensive than gas in my old house but then gas is now going up a lot.
Mains gas is still quite a bit cheaper than oil - it still works out about 30% cheaper - and oil boilers are never as efficient as gas boilers, particularly when heating water only in the summer.

For comparison, to work out the cost per kWh for oil, divide the price per litre by 10.2, but don't forget to bear in mind that oil boilers are almost always less efficient.

Last edited by paul_h; 11-03-2006 at 2:01 PM.
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# 8
zar
Old 11-03-2006, 2:26 PM
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I was feeling bad about our energy usuage but feel better after reading this thread! We have had 2x oil deliveries of 500l each that has lasted us one year, for 2 of us. For 3 weeks over Christmas when the boiler broke, we had to use electric heaters, so our electricity bill went from 65 for the previous quarter to well over 100 for the last quarter, although that can be acounted for by winter and recent price rises as well.

Our boiler is a stanley oil-fired range which is used for hot water (although we have an electric shower and dishwasher as well), central heating and some hob and oven cooking. I don't know what the sq footage is, it is a 2 bed barn conversion on one floor.

But - we generally only have the heating on once a day (in the evening). We have a couple of thermometers, and when the temperature gets to about 11oC we put the heating on to bring it up to about 15. If I'm working at home, I use an electric heater in the room I'm in rather than heating the whole house up. In the past couple of weeks I have discovered the delights of the hot water bottle! Because of the electric shower and dishwasher, in the summer we only heat up water every few days when we need it.

So - the sellers probably weren't lying to you (unless the house is much bigger than ours). But perhaps you will using the heating more than them and so it will be more expensive, so budget for bigger costs. Also the price of oil has really gone up recently.
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# 9
ginger_nuts
Old 11-03-2006, 2:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by linlin
A property I may be interested in has oil fired central heating. I asked the estate agent some questions and was told the boiler is 7 to 8 yrs old, is a Camroy 2 and the current owners have had two oil deliveries in the past year costing approx 160 each. The EA forgot to ask about quantities, but I guess this has to be 2 x 500 litre deliveries

I estimate the house is approx. 1400 sq ft on one floor.

320 pa for heating seems very low and I'm wondering if I've been told the truth or not.
My house is 900 sq ft .I live alone ,I dont have the heat on in the summer (unless it's really freezing ) ,I am out at work all day .I dont use the heating in the morning ,I never use the oil for just heating the water and have electric for cooking ,I used 1200 litres last year .
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# 10
paul_h
Old 11-03-2006, 2:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zar
We have a couple of thermometers, and when the temperature gets to about 11oC we put the heating on to bring it up to about 15.
We have a thermometer in the living room too, it's now saying 20'C and I was thinking about stoking a fire up! I must be nesh! At 11'C I'm afraid I'd be sat here in a Duffel coat...

Standard temperature accounted for is 21'C for living areas when sizing CH system components.

The usage still sounds very low to me, but as I said earlier, it is possible that they could be using the heating sparingly. You have to consider that not everyone's usage will be the same, and much of it depends on your lifestyle and need for heating throughout the day.

Last edited by paul_h; 11-03-2006 at 3:00 PM.
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# 11
ginger_nuts
Old 11-03-2006, 2:54 PM
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at 11oC I think it could be warmer outside . I dont like a lot off heat but 11oC ..no thanks
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# 12
zar
Old 11-03-2006, 3:33 PM
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Oh don't get me wrong I love being warm! I'm always going and standing next to the heater or sitting right on top of the radiator. It only gets to 11 degrees by the evening just before we put the heating on when we get in from work. And I do keep my big fluffy coat on til it warms up a bit! When I didn't have to pay the bills I'd put my parents heating on all the time.

I wouldn't want anyone to be too cold it can be dangerous (we're young and healthy and it does me good to have to move to keep warm as it encourages me to do some housework!) The kitchen where the range is warms up first of course (there can be a 5 degree difference between the kitchen and the living room even with the big hatch between the two and the kitchen door open) and we're both cooking in there when we first get in, so it works for us. From an energy-saving point of view though, it makes much more sense to have the house at 18degrees or whatever and a jumper than 21degrees or hotter and no jumper (like it is in my office even with the radiator turned off!)

I was just explaining how the vendors in the original post might keep their usuage as low as we do.
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# 13
mattt44
Old 13-03-2006, 10:28 PM
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Hi

I didn't quite spit my coffee over the monitor, but I did smile.

We have a 4 bed brick semi, not very well insulated (solid walls), 2 yr old oil boiler, no other oil eating items.

I am very careful with heating, never over 18oC, never drops below 15o though, makes it alot easier (and cheaper) to heat up again.
We use the boiler for hot water once a day, all year, 1000 litre tank. The tank gets filled under twice a year, something like 1.5-1.8 x tanks a year.
Just filled up a couple of weeks ago, something like 340 per 1000 litres, so thats about 600ish a year.


We have 15o most days all day, on a bit in the morning, 18o for 5 hrs in the evening, when its gets cold, get a jumper or goto bed.

I can't stress enough, I am very careful with the heating, everyone who comes here gets cold. My neighbours do have a bigger house, but spend way over twice what we do a year.

If you only have a 500 litre tank it costs you more to get oil per litre as well, from most places, unless you use YOBCO, worth looking into.

Matt
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# 14
damiandixon
Old 17-03-2006, 2:11 PM
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Ummm most peoples oil use seems to be a bit high.

4/5 bed semi. Cavity wall insulated, double glazing back, secondary glazing front. 2ft of loft insulation. Digital thermostats in three zones. Radiator thermostats on most radiators.

Upstairs is 18 degrees, downstairs 21. Heating off at night (very rare for the temp' to drop below 17 at night).

+15yr old boiler, running at 89% efficency as measured when the boiler was last serviced.

800-900ltrs in a year (before solar installed).

The previous owners were using ~4000lts a year!!!

I had solar hot water heating fitted last year (not much benfit over the winter) but the boiler is off over the summer unless it is very cold.
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# 15
paul_h
Old 17-03-2006, 9:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by damiandixon
Ummm most peoples oil use seems to be a bit high.

4/5 bed semi. Cavity wall insulated, double glazing back, secondary glazing front. 2ft of loft insulation. Digital thermostats in three zones. Radiator thermostats on most radiators.
I would guess that your property would be close to qualifying as "super insulated". Heating requirements for a super insulated property can be half that of an average property. You are doing all the right things, but many people do not have this level of insulation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by damiandixon
+15yr old boiler, running at 89% efficency as measured when the boiler was last serviced.
A combustion or flue gas analyzer is used to measure the efficiency of the combustion process - combustion efficiency is not the same as boiler efficiency.

It does not take account of, for example, the heat losses from the case of the boiler or losses from the flue discharge, so generally the efficiency stated on the rating plate of the boiler will always be lower than the measured efficiency of combustion.

Boiler efficiency is the based on the ability of the boiler to actually convert fuel into usable heat, your boiler will probably be 65-70% efficient at best.

Last edited by paul_h; 17-03-2006 at 10:08 PM.
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# 16
moonrakerz
Old 01-04-2006, 9:41 PM
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Question for the OP - were the occupants of this house Eskimos ?

320 per year for heating does seem incredibly low, however, the next post which quotes 1500 seems almost as incredibly high !
I have a 600 gal oil tank (2500L - ish), over the past few years (this one excepted) I have been using about 2500L a year for heating and hot water. My house is 4 beds with 3 bathrooms, my boiler is 20 years old. When I moved into this house (20 years ago), I heard horror stories about how expensive oil was compared to gas, within 12 months I realised these were just "stories". My heating bills for oil were much less than for my previous, smaller, gas fired house.
The two disadvantages of oil are having to store it and having to pay in advance for it. Apart from that I am more than happy with my system.
The main reason, I think, for my reasonable oil consumption is that every radiator has a thermostatic valve on it, there are no wall room stats. Another reason is that everyone takes a shower; we could keep coal in the bath, no one uses it !
If you are using excessive amounts of gas/oil/electric/coal etc, etc, the most likely reason is that you are overheating your house and the heat is escaping and heating your street.
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# 17
Cardew
Old 01-04-2006, 10:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moonrakerz
Question for the OP - were the occupants of this house Eskimos ?

320 per year for heating does seem incredibly low, however, the next post which quotes 1500 seems almost as incredibly high !
I have a 600 gal oil tank (2500L - ish), over the past few years (this one excepted) I have been using about 2500L a year for heating and hot water. My house is 4 beds with 3 bathrooms, my boiler is 20 years old. When I moved into this house (20 years ago), I heard horror stories about how expensive oil was compared to gas, within 12 months I realised these were just "stories". My heating bills for oil were much less than for my previous, smaller, gas fired house.
The two disadvantages of oil are having to store it and having to pay in advance for it. Apart from that I am more than happy with my system.
The main reason, I think, for my reasonable oil consumption is that every radiator has a thermostatic valve on it, there are no wall room stats. Another reason is that everyone takes a shower; we could keep coal in the bath, no one uses it !
Oil might have been cheaper than gas 20 years ago but it is not now.

At 35p a litre you are talking approx 3.5p a kWh. Assuming the efficiency of a gas and oil boiler is the same, that is 50%-70% more expensive than gas at the latest prices.

2,500 litres pa equates to approx 25,500 kWh which is about the UK average for CH and water. At 35p that costs about 875 -73 a month - which is a lot higher than average.
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# 18
paul_h
Old 01-04-2006, 11:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moonrakerz
When I moved into this house (20 years ago), I heard horror stories about how expensive oil was compared to gas, within 12 months I realised these were just "stories". My heating bills for oil were much less than for my previous, smaller, gas fired house.
I can remember when heating oil was 9p/litre too - and it was only 6 or 7 years ago.

Cardew's right, however. Today the mains gas equivalent of your 2500 litres of oil would cost over 300 less, and he's assuming that an oil boiler is as efficient as a gas boiler - this is rarely, if ever, the case.

Last edited by paul_h; 01-04-2006 at 11:24 PM.
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# 19
moonrakerz
Old 02-04-2006, 1:01 PM
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Oil was not 9p a litre 6 or 7 years ago. When I moved in 20 years years ago it was 10p then, and that was the cheapest since I have been here.
I was told "that oil was much more expensive than gas", on my experience that was not a valid statement. It MAY have been that the case that if my present house had been gas fired rather than oil; that MAY have been cheaper. It is impossible to do a valid comparison - you are back to - who is the better footballer - David Beckham or Stanley Mathews ? Better driver, Fangio or Schumacher ?

The point I was trying to make was not that that oil was or was not the cheapest or dearest fuel. Merely that there is a lot of mis/uninformed comment floating around, which makes it very difficult to arrive at a sensible informed comparison.
I commented on another thread about warm air central heating, of which I have had experience on two different systems. Two other posts called these systems, "crap" and "the pits", neither of these comments based on first hand information apparently. These didn't really help the OP at all.

And I stick by my point that much of people's heating bills goes "up the chimney".
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# 20
paul_h
Old 02-04-2006, 2:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moonrakerz
Oil was not 9p a litre 6 or 7 years ago. When I moved in 20 years years ago it was 10p then, and that was the cheapest since I have been here.
Strange, my old 1999 copy of The Housebuilder's Bible quotes 28-second grade heating oil at 9p per litre for comparison. Don't forget that Oil prices slumped in 1998.

There's also some more detail here, provided by the DTI -

http://www.dti.gov.uk/energy/bluebook/pdf/appendix3.pdf

If you scroll down to Table A3.2, you will see that in January 1999, the typical price for 'Standard Heating Grade Oil' was 9.89p per litre, based on a delivery of 1000 litres, and that was in mid-winter.

In 1985 it was over 21p per litre.

Quote:
Originally Posted by moonrakerz
I was told "that oil was much more expensive than gas", on my experience that was not a valid statement. It MAY have been that the case that if my present house had been gas fired rather than oil; that MAY have been cheaper. It is impossible to do a valid comparison - you are back to - who is the better footballer - David Beckham or Stanley Mathews ? Better driver, Fangio or Schumacher ?
As Cardew says, that may have been the case 20 years ago, and oil was certainly cheaper by far in 1999, but it is certainly possible to do a valid comparison today by doing the calculations using current fuel prices. The OP was concerned about the likely cost of heating with oil today.

Quote:
Originally Posted by moonrakerz
The point I was trying to make was not that that oil was or was not the cheapest or dearest fuel. Merely that there is a lot of mis/uninformed comment floating around, which makes it very difficult to arrive at a sensible informed comparison.
I commented on another thread about warm air central heating, of which I have had experience on two different systems. Two other posts called these systems, "crap" and "the pits", neither of these comments based on first hand information apparently. These didn't really help the OP at all.
I agree that it can be difficult to make these sort of decisions with so many differing opinions about, but without hard facts that is all they are - opinions. You have to read them and make your own mind up.

However, although the math is not always easy, it is possible to make a factual, direct comparison between different fuel sources at a point in time, using the current fuel prices, relevant calorific values and boiler efficiencies which are available to you. The only thing you have to then consider is the likely future movements in price of your chosen fuel... crystal ball? :confused:

Last edited by paul_h; 02-04-2006 at 2:34 PM.
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