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The Great ‘Home Heating’ Hunt: Do you know cheaper ways for LPG and oil

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The Great ‘Home Heating’ Hunt: Do you know cheaper ways for LPG and oil

131 replies 62.2K views
MSE_ArchnaMSE_Archna Senior ResearcherFormer MSE
1.9K posts
MSE Staff
Why this discussion.

For the many people that have no choice in heating their home & cooking using oil or LP (Liquefied Petroleum) gas finding the cheapest isn't easy. While gas and electricity comparison sites for conventional energy are commonplace, this isn't the case for LPG and oil.

Add to this there is no obvious regulating body for this area and limited choice of providers in some areas, it's hard to save money.

We need your help and ideas

I thought I'd tap MoneySavers' knowledge to collate tips and tricks to save on the cost of these types of fuels. As it so difficult to save hopefully the collective wisdom will help everyone.

How to suggest something...

Simply click reply, if you're not already a member of the forum, you'll need to login. Don't worry its free and you'll never be emailed, its just done to stop spammers.

This thread replaces the older Cheaper Oil For Fuel thread, which with the massive price escalation is now out of date.

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Replies

  • Ask for Calor Home heat when using 47kg,you need to buy at least two at a time,its a lot cheaper.:beer:
  • Hey all,

    just checked the old posts and was astonished at the price, on average 25ppl+vat.

    I had a top up of 401 litres yesterday and it cost me a whopping 57.9ppl +vat that was from TOTAL BUTLER, expensive yes, but in actual fact, the price had dropped for 2 weeks in a row and it's always a gamble as to when you buy, however, that should see me through now til the end of feb when hopefully i'll pay around 40ppl = you think thats bad?

    My old man lives in a park home, last year despite the heating being on all day long the temp in the van never go above 18 degrees, through the winter it cost him nearly a £1000 in gas bottles.

    It's totally unfair that these two forms of heating are unregulated, surely something can be done?
  • Heating oil has more than doubled in the last year and when there is no alternative to switch to, you're caught by the short and curlies. :confused:

    It's worth looking at oil prices in your area before placing an order for heating oil. Sites like Boilerjuice.com will give you the lowest price in a given area (but not the supplier name). I've used that info to haggle with my regular supplier. So far, they have always matched the Boilerjuice quote and I've saved about £50 a fill. A few pence per litre discount makes a big difference when you're filling a tank of 1000 litres or more.
    :beer:
  • I run an oil heating syndicate/buying group for my local village. Basically once a month I will place an order of heating oil for anyone who needs oil. By co-ordinating our orders together, the suppliers are able to offer us a discount because rather than sending lorries to the village randomly when an individual phones an order through, they can co-ordinate the deliveries to be done on a set day delivering to all those in the village who ordered - thereby also helping to save the suppliers costs too.
    I do not charge for my services - the only 'perk' is that I can also get my heating oil at a discounted price too! I do not pay for my phone calls so it also costs me nothing extra either.
    So, anyone in the village who needs oil and wants to get a discount will ring me with their requirements by the last day of the month. On the 1st I ring around about 5 or 6 local suppliers and play them off against one another to get the very best possible price. Once I have negotiated a good price - I contact the members who wish to purchase oil with details of whom to place the order with and they then place their order direct with the supplier - I handle none of the payments thereby offering total security for the buyer.
    The best discounts are available on orders that are at least 7500L - however we are a small village and often our orders are only 2000-3000L. Even so, we have achieved considerable savings. On 1st August the cheapest price we were able to get was 53.45p per litre which was a fantastic price. Bearing in mind that if you would only usually buy 500L, teaming up with others (even just your next door neighbour) to make a larger order will achieve savings. If you only save 1p per litre, on an order of 500L, that means an extra £5 in YOUR pocket rather than someone else's!
  • I use 47kg bottles of propane for my heating system, not through choice, this was the system that the previous owner installed.
    Most of the other houses in the area have electric white meter storage heaters.

    When I first bought these bottles they were fairly cheap but our suppliers seemed to hike the price up every time we ordered and not just in pence, It went up a couple of pounds every two weeks.

    We only use the heating six or seven months of the year so the bills are way below what we would be paying if using the storage heaters.

    I have asked about any grants available to get connected to the local gas supply because the pipe is only 100 yards from the house but costs are in the thousands.
    As far as I can find out no grants or help available so total costs would be down to me.

    I was told by one gas company that once I paid to get a pipe installed that anyone could jump onto the supply for only £250, meaning I would be paying for everyone else.

    As most of my neighbours are pensioners there is no way all of them could afford to come in with me although some have said that they would.

    Anyway, for anyone wanting to find the best deal on propane gas bottles the best idea is to shop around, forget the big bottle companies, I would try builders merchants.

    A lot of these merchants supply to tradespeople and the cost per bottle is usually much lower, I usually make a saving of between £10 - £12 per bottle.
    Some places also discount if you tell them it's for a heating system.
    Hope this helps.
    Mortgage FREE as of March 2015
    Cash Prize Win - £2000 in TV competition - WOW
    Reclaimed £5872.50 in credit card & bank charges
  • I recently moved into a village house that once had storage heaters installed (and so already had a dual tariff electricity meter) - with an oil based central heating system and rising oil prices I had a 24 hour timer installed on my immersion heater to heat hot water during the early hours of the morning (i.e. off peak) and save on burning oil to heat water throughout the year. It seems to work!

    Obviously other tips would be to make sure your heating boiler is regularly serviced to ensure it's running at peak efficiency, bleeding your radiators and turning your thermostat down by a degree or so. I've also put reflectors behind the radiators mounted on outside walls (available from DIY shops). It's also worth reviewing your central heating controller timings etc. - altering them with your lifestyle (weekends and holidays etc..) and the seasons.
  • We are experiencing the highest price for domestic fuel. Does anyone know how oil compares against gas? My dilema is this: our oil boiler is due to be replaced. Do we take the plunge and switch to gas (of which there is none presently in the house, but it is in the road) or buy a new replacement oil boiler?
  • davywzdavywz Forumite
    5 posts
    I don't know of any easy way to achieve cheaper LPG. The main problem in this area is that each company requires you to use their bulk tank and will not fill one belonging to a competitor.
    A few years ago I contacted my LPG company to tell them I was going to change suppliers as the price I was quoted from another company would generate savings after 18 months even if I had to pay the installation charge for the new tank. As it was that was going to be waived.
    The result was that my supplier offered to put me on the new customer rate which cut my price from 27p per litre to 18.95p per litre. The new deal also included an increase cap so several years down the line I'm still not paying as much as I was before my threat to change. Having said that LPG for central heating is worryingly expensive in the winter months.
    It'll be interesting to see what happens when my current capped contract runs out later this year.
  • Ask for Calor Home heat when using 47kg,you need to buy at least two at a time,its a lot cheaper.:beer:

    Hi I use lpg 47kg bottles (in fact have a delivery today!) - can you tell me some more about this calor home heat?
    I didnt think there was anyway to save money on lpg, I usually just phone up national hotline and order!
    thanks
  • Remember that efficiency is they key - the cost of insulation is low at the moment, and as fuel prices rise it becomes even more cost effective.

    So in order:

    Draught proof everywhere - doors, windows, floors, skirtings, cracks in walls and ceilings etc. Be very fussy. The average old house has 20-24 Air Changes per Hour (20-24m3/hr/50pa) - new ones are built to 10ACH, and in Germany they regularly build to 1-3ACH! I found that in an old house, the area behind my kitchen cabinets was a howling gale - a few sheets of lining paper taped on the walls/floor soon solved that.

    Reflectors behind any radiator on an external wall.

    If you also have an open fire, block it up and use a modern clean burn biomass (wood)stove (or your central heating)- you will loose (on average) more heat up an open chimney that you would gain through lighting a fire in the evening....

    Is your attic/roof insulated? You should have at least 30cm of insulation - that seems a lot, but it works. Most DIY chains now do 2for1 deals on insulation as the energy companies subsidise the cost to meet their EU obligations. Do be aware that you get what you pay for - the cheapest glassfibre insulation won't last for long before it all starts compressing down and loosing its insulation. Many natural insulations (hemp, sheepswool) or new recycled plastic insulation mats hold thier depth for longer and out-perform cheap insulation. Avoid the thin multilayer foils - they do not work and are currently the centre of a lot of controversy in the construction industry.

    Are your floors insulated? If you can get in a cellar/floor space, get some insulation in there. To avoid damp issues, make sure it is well ventilated and use a hygroscopic insulation - a Hemp or Sheepswool is ideal. Solid floors can be insulated, but its a bigger job, probably involving a new floor/slab ebing laid.

    Double glazing - get as good as you can. Shut your (heavy & insulated) curtains on cold nights, or leave them shut on cold days if you are at work.

    Insulate your walls - cavity walls definitely as you get a grant, solid walls can also be insulated very well externally (simpler and cheaper) or internally (get a company that knows what they are doing). No grants for solid walls (despite most houses being so - are you listening government?). Insulating your walls usually has a faster 'payback' than double glazing according to the Energy Savings Trust!

    Fit good thermostatic valves on your radiators, and use them to control heat levels to 18*. Turning up a thermostatic valve does not mean you heat up quicker! Make sure your system and boiler are flushed, serviced and working as best they can.

    Some other ideas

    Big garden plants/shrubs/trees can cut the average windspeed around your house, so saving heat loss - but try to get deciduous varieties, so that you are shaded in summer and have the winter sun 'passively' heat you. Think 'microclimate'.

    Garages/greenhouses/lean-to sheds can all reduce heat loss, and can provide a simple way to add extra insulation to an area of wall - for example, I just insulated my fathers house wall, from inside the garage, using polystyrene for less than £10.

    While I am not a huge fan of renewable energy, do consider:

    Solar (water) panels are now very cost effective and make a real difference. Visit Navitron.org.uk for some very good prices, and the average plumber can fit them. Many of the national companies will over-charge you for the same product.

    Ground source heat pumps or (better) water source heat pumps are brilliant, but only if mains gas is not available. They are damn expensive though.....

    And do have a good root through the energy saving trusts pages as they have some practical guides to all of this.

    Some links to help:

    http://www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/uploads/documents/housingbuildings/CE138%20-%20energy%20efficient%20historic%20homes%20-%20case%20studies.pdf

    http://www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/...gs_4_01_08.pdf

    https://www.greensteps.co.uk/nottinghill/

    www.parityprojects.com

    http://www.natural-building.co.uk/PD...ies/Oakley.pdf

    http://www.aecb.net/


    Matt
    (sustainable building consultant)
    (damn, I should charge you lot! :D)
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