LPG or Oil??

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in LPG, Heating Oil, Solid & Other Fuels
32 replies 71.6K views
Jon_JJon_J Forumite
22 Posts
I am just about to buy a rural property which has Calor LPG installed. Everyone recommendeds I switch to oil central heating and water. I understand oil is cheaper to buy than LPG but I will incur some hefty installation costs for switching over. The property have some major building works done to it, so I am not put off by the physical mess involved in removing the underground gas tank etc.

The current LPG supplier, Calor, have a 3 year contract to supply the property which leaves me feeling a little uneasy. With oil I can at least shop around suppliers each time I purchase oil and not tied to contract.

Eco issues are becoming increasing higher on the taxman agenda and not withstanding fuel price volatility I want to look at the issue from short and long term perspectives.

What are my options and what would you do?
p.s. Will Calor be able to force me into continuing to take their supply??
stay lucky!


  • CardewCardew Forumite
    28.6K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Rampant Recycler
    I think that Calor can insist you get LPG from them; they often supply/subsidise the tank. However they surely can't make you use LPG instead of oil?

    Some people without mains gas find it cheaper to use economy 7 for Hot water and switch off boiler during the summer months.

    It might even be an idea to fit Economy 7 storage heating and use your LPG as a backup.
  • MikeyorksMikeyorks Forumite
    10.4K Posts
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
    Jon_J wrote:

    The current LPG supplier, Calor, have a 3 year contract to supply the property which leaves me feeling a little uneasy. With oil I can at least shop around suppliers each time I purchase oil and not tied to contract.

    LPG is definitely an expensive option. If you continue with it .. possibly an option to look at wood / multi fuel stove to give some core heat, and help preserve the LPG.

    Calor will certainly be the only supplier you can use - and they normally own the tank and controls. Citing complex safety regs as the reason for continuing with a very anti-competitive 'tie in' practice.
    If you want to test the depth of the water .........don't use both feet !
  • david29dpodavid29dpo Forumite
    3.7K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker
    i had to make this choose 12 years ago, LPG or oil. i went for gas. next door on oil. i have a gas hob and fake wood-burners powered by gas. never seen an oil powered hob or wood-burner!! power cuts are common round hear so i have heat and a means of boiling a kettle! next door end up round hear! i have found calor the most expensive LPG supplier to date. go for a local one in your area. in the last 12 years i have not found LPG dearer than next door but i use it far more efficiently, ie, i keep doors closed, better timers etc.
  • Snow_DogSnow_Dog Forumite
    688 Posts
    How about a multifuel burner (wood and coal) with a built in boiler, ours warms up the entire house (and it aint exactly small), the heating barely cuts in during the winter and thats without a water heater option.
  • Steve,
    I too am about to move to a rural property without mains gas. The house has oil hearing. I too have tried to get information on the realative pro's and cons, and indeed the cost to run! The best advice I had was from (of all people) the estate agent! 'no two houses are the same, no one lives the same way, try it and see - if its not for you then change it because you can make a decision based on your needs' - very profound - but she had a point. Given the large capital outlay to replace a system, I think its worth waiting to see how it goes (and what it costs...). Check with your solicitor though that the Calor gas lease on the tank has to be transferred - get the seller to pay any penalty (for their contract!) and then you only have an ongoing obligation with Calor - which you should be able to end as when (pay as you go!)
    We're having a multifuel stove installed to supplement, and with no 'free' source of fuel it looks like I'll have to add coal/logs into the equation. I have no idea how much will last for how long - so I think the 'suck it and see' advice for the first year was probably sensible !
    Good Luck !
  • lowbrimlowbrim Forumite
    489 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts Combo Breaker
    Best option in my view, and which is what I practice is oil for central heating with a decent tank 2500litres so you can pick and chose when to buy oil, this should be more than enough to last 12months and top up when oil price drops I have never paid more than 27p/litre doing it this way. Only use oil to heat water when central heating on.

    Use Economy 7 for heating water and if you want a gas hob just use bottled gas which lasts 3/4 month when you are just cooking with it. I also have a small log burner that we use in the autumn and spring when central heating is not really needed.

    Having said all this I agree with see how it goes with LPG why replace a system if you dont need to. You can go for economy 7 on your hot water quite easily and supplement it with a log/multifuel burner if there is "free" wood around it is not cheap to buy
  • We are in similar situation to Jon J. Can anyone tell me how much they pay for their LPG per litre..........I have heard that there is quite a lot of scope to haggle with Calor over the price but I have not been able to get much idea of the price range. Thanks, in anticipation
  • frankiefrankie Forumite
    798 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 500 Posts
    Hi Countrylifer

    I pay 35.7 per litre for bulk Calor LPG. It should be going down after March in line with other energy suppliers (I hope!). I also have to pay a tank standing charge of 16.44p per day + [email protected]%.

    My boiler is coming up to 20 years and are considering a new one (should be able to make efficiency savings). I am just confused about whether to remain with Calor LPG (no competitive rates, stuck with them) or take the leap and switch to oil.

    I have found it virtually impossible to get any non-bias information on pros and cons of each fuel in terms of running costs.

    Clearly staying with Calor and doing a boiler replacement will be cheaper than a new iol system installation.

    Thing is how long would it take to break even on new installations and how the daily running costs for each fuel type would pan out.

    Any info appreciated.
  • adr0ckadr0ck Forumite
    2.4K Posts
    lpg is cheaper in the short term

    oil is cheaper in the long term

    the reason for this is the lpg suppliers provide you with the tank free of charge

    however oil is cheaper than lpg to buy

    the lpg suppliers own the tank they supply you with so you can only buy lpg from the supplier who provided you with the tank

    therefore you can not shop around for the cheapest lpg prices

    however all this is set to change in September this year

    from september onwards other lpg suppliers will be able to buy you out of your contract therefore you will be able to shop around for prices...therefore your costs should come down
  • adr0ckadr0ck Forumite
    2.4K Posts
    frankie...were with flogas and pay 25p

    you are being ripped by calor
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