Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

    Target price for domestic heating oil
    • #1
    • 1st Feb 05, 5:09 PM
    Target price for domestic heating oil 1st Feb 05 at 5:09 PM
    Insert From Martin

    Where to find the cheapest fuel oil isn't easy. While gas & electricity price comparison services are common place, the same isn't true for fuel-oiled heating.

    The discussion that follows is a merger or two that contained much information. The answer seems to be 'get lots of quotes, and don't believe the hype'.

    In the third message of this discussion you will see a list of comparison sites, and then in the sixth a press release from a newly launched company. Please do enter the discussion, hopefully together as collective MoneySavers we'll find a solution.

    Our fully researched Cheap Heating Oil guide may also be helpful.



    Original Post below....

    I posted this first in the 'I wanna ..' forum, this looks more appropriate.
    First price is 24p/litre last week in Cornwall. I'm going to start getting some quotes for myself. If people think it's useful I'll put them up here. I know the suppliers respond to the spot market for oil, but at least some idea of what the going rate is might be useful to somebody, somewhere!

    Quotes will be for 1000 litres of standard 28ps heating oil, excluding VAT.

    Target price for domestic heating oil
    Does anybody know where to find target prices for domestic heating oil (1000 litres of 28ps)? It's pretty unrewarding phoning around all the distrbutors and the boilerjuice and greenwelly (yes really!) websites both returned prices that were worse than I could get straight off the bat.
    It's hard to believe that in this day and age of consumer regulation up the Ying-Yang there appears to be none that applies to heating oil.


    First post so please be gentle with me!
    Last edited by Former MSE Zorica; 19-02-2014 at 1:14 PM.
Page 2
  • Keith Saunders
    Comments about oil boilers vs gas Boilers
    I have noted the comments of mgcs and others and as someone who has had both gas and oil fired boilers (20 years till present), I can say that I will keep with Oil.

    Oil boilers do not need more mantenance than oil, they do in fact have fewer parts to go wrong compared with gas. On the one occasion I did get my oil boiler serviced I was charged 30 and the only thing that was done was clean the jet. I was informed that if the unit is working correctly the jet would remain clean. That was 5 years ago..

    I think the boilers may make a little more noise particularly on startup, but I would not say it is a lot more.

    At one time oil was cheaper that gas to run the heating, but now at the current price situation I would say it is about the same. Having said that I would say that gas prices never go down whereas oil price are up and down.
    • Debt_Free_Chick
    • By Debt_Free_Chick 24th Feb 05, 9:14 AM
    • 13,149 Posts
    • 9,492 Thanks
    A couple of observations as this is a subject close to my heart (wallet!) ... I have no mains gas and use oil too.

    I've just had a new Aga installed (shouldn't have been necessary ... long story, but previous model neglected over 20 years by previous owners).

    I was recommended to use Southern Counties, on the basis of quality. Apparently, a lot of additives can be added to kerosene and the quality can vary. Poor quality oil creates more deposits, meaning blocked pipes are possible and more frequent servicing a must. I need to do more research on this, but would be interested in others' experience/thoughts. I am persuaded by the quality argument, having seen the gunk blown back through the pipes when the Aga engineer found the oil supply to be poor. Needed a new filter from the tank too .. that was a right mess.

    So, is quality an issue? If so, how do we check this?

    Remember to have the filter from the tank cleaned, regularly. My new Aga engineer will do this whenever the Aga is serviced (every 6 months).

    Re oil boilers ... have to say that I haven't noticed any difference in the noise level, having had gas for 25 years before moving here 2 years ago.

    Re servicing ... in my experience, all boiler engineers recommend an annual service, irrespective of the type of fuel. For the little money involved, compared to a repair/callout, I consider this to be "good insurance". Get an annual service done to prevent a more serious problem buiding up over a period of time. And if you do have boiler insurance, check it - an annual service is often a condition of the insurance. No service, no payout!

    Last edited by Debt_Free_Chick; 24-02-2005 at 9:26 AM.
  • crofter1
    Oil boilers and other animals!
    I been serviceing and repairing oil boilers, aga's, oil fired Rayburns,LPG and mains gas appliances for the past 30 years..

    A couple of point regarding price comparisons.and servicing.

    main gas prices were increased over the rate of inflation prior to privatisation. the prices were then reduced to a more realistic world price level after privatisation, prices have been low but this "holiday" will soon end, The North Sea is not longer satisfying the uks demand for gas, we are now a net importer. (thank the use of gas for electricity generation for this rapid demise of our reserves). Watch out for price fluctuation similar to oil in the future!

    LPG is considerably more expensive than oil or mains gas, the holding tank is usually rented form the supplier and you cannot shop around for the best price. The OFT was looking into the overly high price of LPG and the lack of completion in the market.

    Oil prices do vary ( as has been stated) from supplier to supplier, for oil boilers you will notice little difference in using those that give the best price. Aga's Rayburns, Esse cookers, in other words any appliance that burns off a wick or pot are a different matter. The cheaper brands are usually less well refined, more tars etc left in the oil, this will build up in the burner, this can cause a failure in as little as a month. Slowly the oil supply to the burner reduces, reducing the air flow through the cooker, the soot starts to form and your cooker could be choked with soot.

    Servicing is important, more so for oil as gas, the nozzle (jet) should be changed yearly on a pressure jet (not just cleaned), this nozzle is subject to an oil pressure of upto 150psi, the nozzle will erode letting more than the desired amount of oil into the combustion chamber, resulting in more oil use, the air inlets and fan can get blocked with dust and fluff again resulting in a less efficient boiler, The internal baffles and heat exchanger will become sooted and retard the passage of heat to the circulating water, all resulting in more oil use for less heat.

    If you are the proud owner of an oil boiler that is 10 years old or older, you should consider getting a new more efficient boiler, the saving on your oil bill will pay for your new boiler in a few years! work it out your self, the difference between 70% for older models and 85% or even 95% efficient for newer boilers.
  • oap
    Hi, we have been on oil for over 20 years, when it was 10p a litre!!
    However, what annoys us is when ringing around, how the prices vary. Last week, with the same company, we rang and got 23.65p for a 1000 litres, and ten minutes later rang back to order and were quoted 24p , by someone else, just what are they up to? Some companies on the same day quoted 25p, we are in North Wales and apparently they all get their oil from the same depot in Ellesmere Port, do they charge for distance to travel from the depot to wherever the customer lives? one penny on 1000 litres is a differenc of a tenner every time.
    Coming back to our order last week, we agreed on 23.65 as we had run out, which we had never done before, it was a mistake on our part for not checking, they promised delivery the next day, it did not come on the a wild excuse that the tanker was unavailable, we were very cross and very cold, having to manage on two electric convector heaters at great cost!! They offered us a discount and promised the oil the following day, it came and they charged us 22.80 to compensate!

    Does anyone know why the price varies so much on the same day at the same time from different companies. Where we live everyone uses different companies, so I do not think a cooperative would work.

    Best wishes , oap
  • oap
    Our oil boiler is three years old, how much is a reasonable cost for servicing?
    That is also a minefield and varies greatly, thanks oap
    • westernpromise
    • By westernpromise 28th Feb 05, 12:16 AM
    • 4,688 Posts
    • 6,037 Thanks
    However, what annoys us is when ringing around, how the prices vary. Last week, with the same company, we rang and got 23.65p for a 1000 litres, and ten minutes later rang back to order and were quoted 24p , by someone else, just what are they up to?
    by oap
    Home heating oil is traded on the oil futures markets. The key market in Europe is the International Petroleum Exchange, where heating oil is traded in the form of gasoil. The price can change as often as every second.

    Your suppliers are quoting you a price based on the one they see on a live trading screen, which reports IPE prices in real time. If they are smart, they will vary their own prices too.

    (former oil trader)
    Buying a house, if you believe the market has a way to fall, or if you are paying sill asking prices ( like some sheeple ) or if you are buying in London, is now a massive financial gamble!!!!! - June 8, 2012 by TheCountOfNowhere
    • westernpromise
    • By westernpromise 28th Feb 05, 12:34 AM
    • 4,688 Posts
    • 6,037 Thanks
    I was recommended to use Southern Counties, on the basis of quality. Apparently, a lot of additives can be added to kerosene and the quality can vary. Poor quality oil creates more deposits, meaning blocked pipes are possible and more frequent servicing a must. I need to do more research on this, but would be interested in others' experience/thoughts.
    by Debt_Free_Chick
    Home heating oil and kerosene for home use are commodity products widely traded by speculators.

    This site may be helpful:-

    The key thing to remember is that there is a minimum spec for the oil you use, and all the supplier has to do is meet that. Exceeding it - giving you better quality than necessary - is generally considered poor commercial practice. There's even a word for it: "giveaway".

    Your wholesaler will source the oil he sells you from the cheapest source. Those sources will either refine the stuff themselves or will buy components and blend it up.

    In the former case, you usually get better quality, because the hassle to a refiner of buying off-spec products to blend the refinery output to the absolute minimum quality isn't really worth the money to be made. Blenders OTOH specialise in making stuff that's only just on-spec.

    What you really need a supply from someone who has a refinery supply and is not reblending the stuff so it's only just on spec. You best bet is probably an authorised distributor for one of the majors, who have refinery production to sell off; it is likely, I would think, that those guys would be selling straight stuff that's not been messed about with.

    Anyone else may be buying from the refiners or they may not. Just because the pickup point is the same, eg Ellesmere Port, it does not mean you are getting the same thing regardless of the specific supplier. Storage terminals are shared facilities and traders rent tanks there which they fill with their own sourced product.



    (former heating oil trader)
    Buying a house, if you believe the market has a way to fall, or if you are paying sill asking prices ( like some sheeple ) or if you are buying in London, is now a massive financial gamble!!!!! - June 8, 2012 by TheCountOfNowhere
  • Milie_R_man
    In common with the others who have tried "boilerjuice" i was not impressed, the quote today was a full 5p per litre abpve what i paid last week! The only way seems to be the good old fashioned 'phone around and pick the best. the company i used in the end was CPL which gave me 1000 litres at 23.65 per litre
  • oap
    Thank you so much for the very informative replies, we used Bates and Hunt, who we think may have something to do with Texaco, so maybe our oil is first class!!!! hmmmmmmm!! Will keep info saved for future use, thanks again, cheerio, oap
  • medge799
    I just paid 25.5p + VAT for 1000 litres in a small village near Cambridge. I buy as part of the village syndicate (we order together but are billed separately). I don't yet know if this is cheaper, I'm still in shock!
  • analyst
    Just thought I'd pitch in here with a few snippets of me own!

    I'll be needing some oil soon and I shall be doing my usual "phonearound".

    To make life easy for myself, I made a 3 column word doc listing my best 6 suppliers with their tel nos and space to write in the quote. Hey, its not rocket science, I know, but grabbing a pre-printed sheet is easier than phartin' around with tel directories each time.

    In fact, comparisons over the years have eliminated a few suppliers who are ALWAYS higher. I'm surprised at how many of my neighbours have these stoopid tank modems fitted which automatically call up a dedicated supplier to top them up - jeez, you'll always pay high prices that way. Dump them, I'd say.

    Two national companies I'd suggest trying are: CPL Petroleum and Emo Oil (which took over Shell Direct last year sometime). I have some friendly banter going with the people in the CPL office and will nearly always beat their prices down to below my best other quote, so I call them last. Yes, those quotes really can be haggled - do it!

    Servicing - now I know the purists won't like this but . . . I do my own. Its easy to pull the burner out, clean the jet off with a small container of paraffin and a paintbrush, and shove it back in. On very rare occasions, I might get wildly enthusiastic and reach into the chamber, brush the soot down (if any) and vacuum it out with the crevice nozzle on the vacuum cleaner.

    OK, so maybe I don't tune the finer settings (do servicers??) but I'd need to waste a hell of a lot of fuel before I got anywhere near the cost of a typical service charge, and my usage tells me that isn't happening anyway.
  • analyst
    An added afterthought to above.

    I use oil for heating (even though gas is available) but I have a hob on propane gas for cooking. For those who really prefer to cook on gas rather than elec.

    A 47Kg propane gas refill costs about 27-29 GBP and lasts me a little over two years. (Typical 2+2+dog family - though the dog doesn't do much cooking)

    So, for anyone who wants gas to cook on, but isn't sure about changing from oil I'd say thats the way to go. Whilst its true oil prices tend to float up and down, especially if Dubbya decides to go to war, overall I'd say my heating bills are much lower than those peeps on mains gas, and believe me, we run a warm house - too bloody warm for my liking!
  • keefrto

    I regularly call at least 6 companies (no scottish jokes please) to get the best prices. I have just paid 27.5p for 900 litres. 2 yrs ago best price was 17p. If anyone wants to get some scottish comparison going, please let me know
  • Python15
    Oil in the NE Scotland
    It seems that we are a wee bit limited and not as spoiled for choice as our southern friends are for oil suppliers. Or am I wrong in assuming this? Would be real interested to hear from anyone in this neck of the woods.
  • rusty
    i live in nth notts, got around 4 supplies i ring round to get the best price, always manage to get another penny a lt off, also get a bit more off if paid within a two week,
    pay on credit card so get about 6-8 weeks before any money leaves my bank
  • abg
    I live in central Scotland, use Johnsons Oil and have just been quoted 36p per litre. Good or bad?
  • ScottyB
    Bit of useful info for N. Ireland oil users.
    We've recently launched a website to solve the problem for heating oil consumers in Northern Ireland who don't know much oil costs at any give time and to help them to tell if what they are being quoted is a good or bad deal.

    We work out the daily average price for 900 litres (the standard size of delivery) and post it daily. The service is free.

    There's also a product for sale on the website called HeatMAX which helps reduced the rate of consumption.

    Hope this helps.
  • flexicover
    In our village, we manage to get deep discounts on the market price of burning oil by ordering in bulk. It works like this. 1. Each one of us phones through the number of litres we want to order, to a nominated resident in the village. (we are reminded to do this in our quarterly village newsletter). 2. He (in our case) then calls around the oil companies and gets quotes based on the collective number of litres. 3. He places the order with the chosen oil company, listing names, addresses and number of litres required by each house. 4. The oil company then delivers over a period of a couple of days. 5. Each house still receives a bill in the usual way, and each household is responsible for payment for the litres ordered.

    The advantages are: Far fewer oil trucks coming in and out of the village, much lower prices for us, more convenience for the oil company. Essentially, the more litres ordered, the more we save. Quarterly orders seem to be working fine for us.
  • david nicholas
    There are 4000 of us in Northamptonshire buying our domestic heating oil together. The aim is to make the maximum savings. Any one in the country can join in. Look at
    • Thefunkygibbons
    • By Thefunkygibbons 2nd Nov 05, 12:07 PM
    • 1,362 Posts
    • 758 Thanks
    I use boiler juice to find the best day to order but to date it has been more expensive than my local supplier and they know where to find me
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

2,457Posts Today

7,825Users online

Martin's Twitter